Decision Making

Why do research?

One thing that makes OC Research unique is that it holds an integral and explicit part in OC`s stated organizational strategy: “Using Research, Motivation and Training we Mobilize the Christian leaders to reach their nations and beyond.” So, why is research found right there at the beginning of our strategy? Perhaps Proverbs 18:15 can help clear this up: “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out." As we seek to wisely discern God`s will for our work and ministry, we recognize that we need to seek out knowledge.

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.

Applied Field Research

This article will explain how applied research is used.


1. Applied research and the general use of information.
2.The internal application
3. The external application


OC makes a distinction between "basic research" and "applied research.

Worker to Population Ratios as a Measure of Engagement

In the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, the worker to Population Ratio was a statistic often used evaluate of how "engaged" a non Christian population was.

Is the Research Project Worth the Cost?

Research projects can become costly, especially when taking into consideration the cost of the researcher’s support and office support staff. Even a smaller project can have a five figure price, taking into account these factors. This article provides some criteria for evaluating if a research project is worth the cost.

Research's Contribution to Strategic Planning

The following outline shows the contribution of research to developing a team vision statement, strategy, and ministry objectives

Source: A Guide to the Objective Process, Appendix One

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.

How to do a Ministry Evaluation

Like research, the evaluation process is a useful management tool. Evaluation (or assessment) should be an ongoing and multi-faceted process for the team as a whole and as individuals. While avoiding the danger of becoming too inwardly focused, the wise leader periodically leads his team to ask themselves, “How are we doing?” While it may, at times, be scary to ask such a question, in the final analysis, is it not wiser to know?

Application of Research Findings

Efficient and effective management relies heavily upon having the right information in the right hands, in the right form at the right time. The application of research findings serve two broad purposes: one internal - related to management, and one external related to disciple making process. The following lists clarify these purposes of applied ministry research and how research findings are applied.

Research applied externally for the disciple-making process:

Cycle of the Research Process

The following diagram illustrates the on-going cycle of the research process. Note how research informs the decision making process in the "Apply the Results" and "Determine Ministry Needs" phases.


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