The Art of Asking Good Questions

OC workers engage in what we call short term “impact ministries” in approximately 60 countries per year. These “open doors” provide a marvelous opportunity for workers to interact with church leaders in these countries. Generally OC workers enter a country at the invitation of local church leaders and thus should have opportunities to interact with them. Taking the role of a learner, a mission worker can use interactions with church leaders as an opportunity to learn about: (1) the history of the church; (2) the present status of the church; (3) the leader’s vision for the future of the church; and (4) how God has workers and is at work in the country.

One of the best ways to learn about the church and what God is doing in a country is to ask good questions. Pondering all this, it occurred to the author that the Book of Acts provides a wonderful outline of questions to ask about the growth of the Church. Since it is likely that mission workers likely have a good understanding of the Book of Acts, this knowledge can be drawn upon to guide the questions posed to local church leaders. This article, then, suggests the types of research questions that mission workers may use when interacting with local church leaders. Click here to learn more.

God is Doing Amazing Things Around the World Through the OC Global Alliance!

The Global Research Team recently finished the 2015 Annual Report for the OC Global Alliance. Based on the information submitted by our field teams working in over 40 countries, we took a close look at three areas: personnel, countries impacted and ministry results. We found surprising outcomes in each of these three areas.

  • With regard to ministry results, over 5,200 churches were started through the ministries of OC workers in 2015, almost double the number of churches started in 2014.
  • With regard to personnel, the number of workers associated with the OC Global Alliance surpassed 1,000 persons for the very first time. The news here is the large increase in the number of ministry volunteers serving alongside our teams outside of the United States. The number of volunteers working in the United States is up too, and it is interesting that our United States Mobilization Center has called 2016 the “Year of the Volunteer.” This link tells more about the "Year of the Volunteer."
  • In 2015, God opened doors for OC Global Alliance workers to minister in 103 countries – the largest number in history and one more country than last year.

We are in awe of God’s unprecedented work!
Speaking of volunteers, we have several persons who serve with the Global Research Team as volunteers. If you would be interested in serving as a volunteer, write us a message. We'd love to explore the partnership!

Telling God's Story in 2016

How is God at work in the world today?

This is a question that the Global Research Team of One Challenge strives to answer. During the first quarter of 2016 we will gather information about what the 40 plus teams in the OC Global Alliance accomplished in 2015. In addition to determining what they accomplished, we also want to discover how God is at work in and through these ministries. Indeed this is a more difficult task that requires divine insight.

In 2016 we look forward to discerning how God is at work in the world today and sharing “God stories” of how He has been at work within the OC Global Alliance.

The rest of this article outlines a biblical framework we use for discerning how God is at work in the world today and how these insights apply to mission work.

Maps Show the Need for Church Planters in Japan

In October of 2015, the Global Research Team of One Challenge assisted church leaders in Japan by producing maps that show the state of Church in Japan and highlight the work that remains to disciple the whole nation. Japan is one of the least reached nations in the world. Just 0.43% of the Japanese are church members and about half of these regularly attend church. This means over 126 million people in Japan most likely have not understood the Good News about Jesus Christ.

One of the more intriguing maps produced by the GRT shows the percentage of cities and towns by prefect that do not have a church. In 29 of Japan’s 47 prefectures at least 50% of the towns do not have a church. Two prefectures have no churches at all. Just one prefecture has a church in every town. Thus we can conclude that not only have a large majority of those in Japan never heard the Good News about Jesus Christ, but they have little opportunity to hear the Good News, since there are so many towns that do not have a single Church. This particular map, then, highlights the areas that need workers to preach the Good News.

Celebrating 150 Years of Protestant Mission Work in Taiwan

2015 commemorates the 150th anniversary of Protestant mission work in Taiwan. This infographic highlights four fruits of Protestant mission work as well as a task that remains to disciple the whole nation. We can celebrate:

    1. 4,101 Protestant Churches
    2. 1.3 Million Church Members
    3. 5.6% of Taiwan’s population is a member of a Protestant Church.
    4. Protestant Church Membership nearly tripled between 1989 and 2013.

These are impressive accomplishments, built upon the foundation of the first pioneer missionaries and the generations of workers who followed. Still there is much to do as 22 million people in Taiwan are not yet members of a Protestant church. So the included map casts vision for the task that remains.

These are impressive accomplishments, built upon the foundation of the first pioneer missionaries and the generations of workers who followed. Still there is much to do as 22 million people in Taiwan are not yet members of a Protestant church.

This map shows how many new churches are needed by district to attain a church to population ratio of 1:1,000 or one church for every thousand people. From the perspective of Saturation Church Planting (SCP), attaining this church to population ratio would provide every person in Taiwan with easy geographical access to a Protestant church and is a significant milestone to reach in the process of discipling a whole nation. For more information about growth of the Protestant church in Taiwan and the task that remains, see Taiwan Church Growth Report 2015.


On the Goal of Field Research

When sharing about the One Challenge’s use of field research, it is often helpful to bring an easy-to-overlook biblical passage into the discussion that illustrates what we intend to achieve.

    “…from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—
    200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command.…” (1 Chronicles 12:32 NIV)

Perhaps the first reading of this passage has you wondering “What great insight lays here?” But a closer look reveals that the chronicler highlights two distinctive characteristics of the leaders from the tribe of Issachar: first they understood the times; second they knew what Israel should do. This double description illustrates how One Challenge utilizes field research.

Volunteer Web Designer Needed

Are you a web designer who might be able to assist our research team on a volunteer basis? We manage several websites that we would like to upgrade – but we lack the time and/or talent to do so. Advanced skills with Drupal are necessary. If you have the ability and time to take on these projects, let’s talk! Write us at

Interns Wanted: Web Design and Research Assistant

One Challenge 's research department offers flexible, four to twelve week internships in web design and research, either of which would be ideal for a college student who has completed two years of study. We're looking for curious people, willing to learn, with a strong passion for people and desire to assist with basic mission research. Both internships provide opportunities to work alongside experienced mission information workers to mobilize believers for more effective outreach and discipleship. The internship could take place in the United States or a foreign country. The intern would be responsible to fund all travel and personal expenses. But funds can be raised to cover these expenses, and additional donations received can be given for a salary. The specific details of the internship will be built around the intern’s schedule and interests. A brief description of each internship follows.

How can we serve you?

OC’s Global Research Team offers valuable services to the Body of Christ. Although the primary mission of the Global Research Team is to serve the field teams within the OC Global Alliance, we also assist outside partners and clients. These are some of the services that the Global Research Team offers.

Research Resources & Training
Evaluate Results
Survey/Interview your Constituency
Effectiveness Assessments
Analyze your Data
Reporting – Writing up Results
Clear & Challenging Look at your Reality
Help with Maps and Graphs

Is research really necessary for effective mission work?

Is research really necessary for effective mission work?

A recent bulletin of the Global Community of Mission Information Workers shares an anecdote that highlights how research supports effective mission work.

This story comes from Bob Waymire, a late 20th century pioneer in using mission information. In the late seventies Jim Montgomery and Bob gave a "research and strategy" report to their mission board. Afterward a board member, who was a dear friend, approached Bob and said half-jokingly,

    "Why don't you guys go pass out tracts on the street corner? You'll do more good than all that research stuff."

Waymire’s answer to his half-joking critic is golden:


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