I’ve always been a huge proponent of research. Research is revelatory and one of the best catalysts for growth and success.
“What’s measured improves” -Peter Drucker
Everyone needs to do their research, despite these hurdles:
- Research isn’t perfect. Actually, in the case of doing research, perfect is the enemy of good. Your goal in research is to discover the truth so you can better operate in your current reality.
- People will always criticize your research. There is no sovereign research. Findings are meant to inform action, not dictate it.
- You must consistently get better at it. When it comes to research, some is always better than none. You have to start somewhere–even if you start small. Once you’ve captured a baseline, you can know that you are grounded in the truth of your reality, which gives you a solid foundation for growth.
The world’s 1000 largest corporations spent $680 billion on R&D in 2016.¹
Some ways we have seen research propel our ministry:
- ABY–OneHope launched the largest study of its kind to discover the reality of children and youth worldwide. It revealed a global norm stating that positive family experiences, involvement in a faith community, and engagement with religious texts are the greatest contributing factors to teens making more positive choices in life and increased spiritual vibrancy.
- We commissioned a study on Syrian Refugee Children, and with the findings created a first-of-its-kind program to serve the spiritual and psychological needs of children who have experienced trauma.
- Asset mapping has revealed that globally, the number of churches without a dedicated children’s worker hovers slightly above 50%.
- Keep a pulse on culture by working with and constantly monitoring the findings of solid research firms like Barna Group.
Research isn’t a destination you arrive at, it’s a journey you live by.
In 2006, Intel’s investment in their R&D kept the company afloat and continues to keep them ahead of their competitors.³
Knowing this, are churches and ministries ready to serve this burgeoning need? Our responsibility as a ministry is to incorporate and use research to get better at what we do. Since we serve the church, we must have a rich research culture.
Here are the tools to get started: 5 D’s
OneHope, “Global Asset Mapping Summary Data,” 2016, p.1