The Alliance


Research with Feet

Svetlana, Olga and Scott FriderichÕs feet"Olga, imagine that you are in charge of the entire network of evangelical denominations in Ukraine."

Olga listened as Svetlana translated my statements in to Russian.

"What would you do with this research?"

I paused for Svetlana to finish the translation and I waited for Olga's response via Svetlana.

"I would look and see where the churches are and how fast they are growing."

I shot an indirect look out onto the frozen canal below our window.

"So what?"

Olga understood my question without translation. I continued.

"What will that do to help plant more churches in this country?"

Olga thought and responded with care.

"I would look to where there are not any churches and focus there."


Research that doesn't just stand, but moves

Olga and RustamA lot of us look at research as books full of charts, graphs, and numbers. Unfortunately, that's all that research is for most of us: a static picture of where we've been. Sometimes that can be inspiring and in other cases it can be just plain discouraging. However, research can be so much more. What would happen if we gathered information that is prophetic? What if the data could indicate possible results based on specific actions? What if the research was more than just moving, but it actually caused movement?

When I began to mentor Olga last October, we set out with a long and detailed coaching plan. About two days before my most recent trip to Kiev I received some shocking news. The denominational leaders wanted a complete set of research on church planting in Ukraine by April. Needless to say, the aforementioned plan was scrapped. In light of this new urgency, I've had Olga focus on three questions:

  1. What data do we essentially need for church planting?

  2. What type of information helps church multiplication happen and move forward?

  3. How can we get this information together and presented quickly? (Because church planting movements usually don't wait for long research projects to be completed.)

We don't have time to put together a lengthy church planting report with numerous maps and growth charts. Urgency has directed us to focus on impact. I've felt us moving more towards a battle mentality.

"How beautiful are the feet..."

Olga explains the research project to SergeiOlga, Svetlana, and I had just finished analyzing survey data when our friend Rustam came into the office. In October the four of us spent three hours over pizza designing a survey to measure the spiritual climate of Kiev. The survey was designed to get at how Kievites view God, Christians, and the Church... no small survey as you can see. We had brought Rustam into the design process because he is in the process of planting a church among students in Kiev. It's always important to be in touch with these front line foot soldiers when performing research.

We spent some time reviewing results together before I asked our friend a key question.

"Rustam, what are you going to do differently based on these results."

Rustam was quick to answer.

"We need to explain God as more of a personality instead of a force. Furthermore, we need to help the people here understand that God isn't confined to the church. They need to know that God works in their lives at home and at work too. Maybe we should consider not using the name church."

"Rustam, what essential information are you looking for to help multiply the church?"

"We need to know the areas of life where people are open. We need to understand the keys to open the most open doors of their life so that we can most effectively share the gospel."

Research is moving. Things are going to happen.

Scott Friderich, ASCP Regional Resource Team
Budapest, Hungary




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