Basic Church Growth Data Analysis

Executive Summary
This article describes the Basic Church Growth Data Analysis that was done by OC International for each of the 42 “counties” in Romania during the period of 1999-2002. Descriptions of the communication tools used are provided. The explanations are given to enable other researchers to perform similar analysis. Data for the “county” of Brasov is used in this example.The attached file describes in detail each communication tool used and the data analysis techniques used to prepare each tool.

These presentations were based in information gathered in a DAWN type research project conducted in Romania between 1998 and 2001. The research project was a partnership between the major evangelical denominations, the Romanian Evangelical Alliance, OC International and United World Mission’s Romania team.

The data gathered followed that recommended in the DAWN Research Manual (found in Resource Downloads/Training).
The research questions were:

  • To determine where Evangelical Churches were in the Romania,
  • To determine where evangelical churches needed to be planted.
  • To document the growth of the Evangelical Churches in Romania.

The purpose of the Research project was (a) to motivate leaders of the Evangelical churches in Romania to set “growth goals” for leadership training, evangelism and church planting and (b) to plant churches in less evangelized areas. MS Access was used to maintain the Church Data Base and the demographic data base. Findings of the research were presented in numerous regional gatherings of Christian workers and at a national conference e in 2001.

Our data analysis processes and communication tools were perfected over time. Feedback received from national partners and Christian workers was instrumental in choosing media to best communicate the research results. It was sometimes difficult to evaluate the long term impact of these communication tools because there was often no feedback loop. However, follow up visits, interviews, case studies and anecdotal information did indicate that these communication tools did motivate people to become involved in Church Planting. Results were more closely linked to the level of ownership of local leadership and the ongoing relationship between the local leaders and those promoting the national church planting initiative.