Five Quotes for Mission Information Workers

Five researchers from One Challenge participated in the Mission Information Workers Conference, 23-25 August 2016, in Texas. This gathering was sponsored by the Community of Mission Information Workers (CMIW), the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Harvest Information System (HIS) and the Seed Company. The program included 14 TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment & Design). A number of the speakers included insightful quotes in their TED Talks. Here are five thought provoking quotes that apply to mission information work.

Let’s start with two quotes attributed to Albert Einstein.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Second Level of Training for Mission Information Workers Now Available for BETA Testing

The first two modules that make up the second level of training for Mission Information Workers are now available for BETA testing. These modules, which address The Purpose for OC Research and The Research Process, are downloadable from this page.

Level 2 of Finding Your Way with OC Research has in view Mission Information Workers, Field Researchers and Team Leaders already involved in field ministry. Mission Information Workers and Field Researchers are included because they are providers of strategic information. Team Leaders are also included in this training because they are users of strategic information and thus need to understand the purpose and process of mission research. As leaders, they also need to encourage the entire ministry team to value, gather and use good information.

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.

Research Empowers Global Church Planting Network

For the May 2016 meeting of the Global Church Planting Network, the Global Research Team prepared maps and graphs that focus on the state of Christianity for every country of the world and the need for church planting, especially among Unreached People Groups. These country summaries are grouped into 21 regions of the world. This information helps intercessors, local churches, mission agencies and mission workers to see the big picture of what it will take to fulfill the Great Commission in each country in every region. Follow the links below to view these summaries on the GCPN website.

Africa North Africa Central Asia Asia Europe and Russia Latin America Western World
Eastern Africa North Africa & Middle East North East Asia Eastern Europe Central America Oceania
Southern Africa Central Asia South Asia Russia and satellites Mexico North America
West Africa South East Asia Western Europe Northern South America Caribbean
Central Africa Brazil Area
Nigeria Area Southern

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.

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.



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