Paul Yaggy

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” – Isaac Newton

Why is research important to Christian missions? Why should we make an effort to count the believers and number the churches? What does a mission information worker do anyway?

Over the years these are some of the questions that have come my way about mission research. Based on my limited experience and understanding, I’ve tried to explain how research is helpful to Christian missions. But in recent years I’ve discovered that One Challenge has numerous “research giants” who have greatly helped me understand and articulate the importance of research to Christian mission.

In this article I will focus on the contribution of two of these research giants, whose complementary insights, though made a generation apart, have greatly shaped my understanding of missionary research and what a mission information worker does. Like Isaac Newton, I can see further by standing on the shoulders of these giants! By reading this article you will learn about four categories of mission research, the Mission Information Pyramid and how the Mission Information Pyramid informs the practice and application mission research.

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