Types of Research

20 Ways Research Can Help Church Leaders Mobilize God’s People for Good Deeds

Within One Challenge, we view research as foundational to all effective ministry. We define research as gathering information to make good decisions that ultimately result in the mobilization of God's people. This article identifies 20 ways that research can be used to identify needs, create relevant ministries and mobilize God's people.


Research can help make community outreach more effective.

1. Read the local newspaper seeking to understanding the community. In the formal research world, this would be called "library research"

2. Familiarize yourself with the demographic data for your community. Governmental agencies do a good job at tracking social indicators related to ethnicity, employment, education, household structure, poverty, economic, crime and other demographics. This information, I have found, is often "eye opening" and challenges our conceptions about a community.

Constructing a Worldview

Our friend, Dr. James Slack, who works with the International Mission Board, has been so kind to allow us to share the instruments he developed to conduct an ethnographic survey of a people group. Step by step instructions are given to describe the worldview of a specific people. A number of questions guide the field researcher to investigate family, social, religious, economic and political structures. Supplemental information is provided to help the development of chronological Bible story telling. The attached file contains all of research instruments.


Sampling is used in some research projects and it is important to get this critical part of a research project done as well as possible. Some basic concepts of sampling will be covered here.

Research as a Management Tool

Accurate research is essential for a good understanding of the current status of the church and the country, the identification of the leaders and their needs, the identification (or, at least, sense) of what God is doing (or desires to do), the current status of the team, etc.

Stages of Research in Team Development

Research serves an important role in the development of a ministry team. This article will describe the contribution of research to each stage of a team's development.

Harvest Field and Harvest Force

Missionary Field researchers strive to provide strategic information regarding two domains: the Harvest Field and the Harvest Force. Harvest Field refers to the target culture and people group. This is the context of ministry. Harvest Force refers to the Church and specifically Christian workers and leaders. It is important to understand the context of ministry in order to make good decisions.This article will further describes the types of issues that are investigated in each area.

Evaluating Your Ministry

Periodic evaluation of ministry is necessary to ongoing development and innovation. It is a sign of godly wisdom to consider or evaluate one’s way. Evaluation is a part of OC culture. Research tools and techniques can be used to aid evaluation the evaluation process. Specific examples of how Surveys, Focus Groups, Interviews, Participant Observation, Time Management Evaluations and Formal Research Projects can be used to evaluate ministry.


Spiritual Mapping

The following lists of survey questions pertaining to "Spiritual Mapping were compiled by Bob Waymire in the National Research Mobilization Handbook (1993).. More back ground about “spiritual mapping: can be found in Breaking Strongholds in Your City by C. Peter Wagner (1993, Regal Books) and Spiritual Mapping Field Guide-North American Edition by George K. Otis Jr. (1993, The Sentinel Group). These questions were originally compiled with the community in mind, but can be adapted to virtually any area.

Library Research

An early phase of any research project is library research. A researcher will want to determine what information already exists about the subject under investigation. Sometimes this is called a "Survey of the Literature."

Four Levels of Ministry Research

Research activity can be categorized according to its scope and purpose. There are at least four categories or levels.


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