Languages, Continents Converge in Fruitful Practice Research
Research is sometimes used to "look over someone's shoulder" to provide new ideas and suggestions about their work. When it's your shoulder that's being looked over, it can be intimidating – but also very helpful!
The Fruitful Practice Research team – of which GMI is a part – invites other researchers to "look over its shoulder." The team's Methodology Review Group consists of accomplished Christian researchers working in ministry, academia and secular professions.
Their review of the team's early research work yielded the following suggestions (plus many others):
- Interview teams on site, instead of convening conferences
- Interview team members in their heart language
- In addition to gathering research, bless teams by helping to train them
These ideas have greatly influenced the current round of research, along with other ministry. For instance, Fruitful Practice resources have now been translated in languages as varied as Korean, Hindi, Indonesian, Spanish, Swahili and Amharic! Much of this translation work would not have been done without a commitment to interviewing teams in their heart language.
In April, a GMI researcher led a Fruitful Practice site visit to discover best practices in church planting among resistant peoples. Four continents converged in this project:
- The research team was led by a North American;
- The field workers were Latin American;
- The Spanish-speaking interviewers were based in Europe; and
- The interviews took place in North Africa!
The same week, another Fruitful Practice site visit took place in Nigeria. There, more than 40 church and mission leaders turned out for the training seminar following the interviews. Thanks to the review group's "over-the-shoulder" look, training has been carried out at the field level among at least 40 church-planting teams in a dozen countries!
GMI is honored to be involved in this exciting and thoroughly collaborative research effort. Authorized by a network of more than 100 agencies, Fruitful Practice Research not only identifies fruitful principles in church planting, but builds them into interactive training resources designed especially for field workers. If you or your group is involved in reaching resistant peoples in the 10/40 Window and would like to know more, please drop us a line.
Also, this article and this article give an overview of some of the research findings to date. Finally, please pray for interviews to be arranged with several remaining teams before October, when fieldwork concludes.