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GMI World
A Publication of Global Mapping International

Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World

Winter 2002

 


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Best Practices

The Operation World research team:
"These guys are good!"

A series of commercials on American TV last summer promoted the PGA (Professional Golfers Association) tournaments using the theme line, "These guys are good!" That sums up how GMI sees Patrick Johnstone, his Canadian co-author Jason Mandryk, and the rest of the Operation World research team at the WEC headquarters in England. Why is our confidence in the data and interpretation of Patrick's team so high?

HE IS FASTIDIOUS ABOUT HIS RESEARCH METHODS
    We will spare you the details of his "100% rule," an absolutely basic principle that determines many other things about his data collection and analysis. Suffice it to say that his careful definition of basic rules equips him to tackle some horrendous data problems such as these:
. Seeing through hostile (too low) or wishful (too high) statistics about church membership;

. Getting an accurate total of Korean missionaries when many are members of two churches and some are members of two missions; and
. Classifying and counting "evangelicals" or "charismatics."

HE IS UNBELIEVABLY "WELL-CONNECTED" AROUND THE WORLD
    Patrick prepared a few prayer handout sheets for a missionary "Week of Prayer" in Nairobi in 1963 and has been expanding his network of data providers ever since. With email the Operation World team is now able to acquire and check information with friends in all 237 countries in the book.

HE IS FRANK ABOUT THE LIMITATIONS OF HIS RESEARCH
    Humble about his own work, he generally praises other researchers, and if he differs with them, he does so respectfully. The one global researcher who, from a human perspective, could have become his arch-rival (David Barrett,

editor of the World Christian Encyclopedia) has been in cooperation with him ever since their first meeting in 1979.

HE CARES AS MUCH ABOUT PRESENTING THE DATA HELPFULLY FOR THE ORDINARY CHRISTIAN AS HE DOES ABOUT GETTING THE DATA RIGHT
    Patrick is himself an evangelist with sixteen years of itinerant preaching experience in southern Africa. The only reason he has given so much of his life to the research and writing of Operation World is that he believes the information, if properly presented, can and does promote prayer for the one thing he cares about most-saturating the world with the good news of Jesus the Christ. As you can see, Operation World is both serious and reliable-an important piece of research and a wonderful tool.


Jason Mandryk co-authored the 2001 Operation World with Patrick Johnstone.


Know your world-an Operation World quiz

How well do you know your world? You might be surprised to learn what God is doing in mission. Answers are on page six.

    1. Which country went from 1.4% professing Christians in 1900 to 95.3% professing Christian in 2000?
    A. Bolivia
    B. Democratic Republic of Congo
    C. Philippines

    2. In which city is no Christian allowed to set foot?
    A. Pyongyang, North Korea
    B. Kabul, Afghanistan
    C. Mecca, Saudi Arabia

    3. How many countries have more evangelicals than the United States?
    A. None
    B. One
    C. Nobody knows

    4. Which country sends out more than twice as many missionaries per evangelical church member as the USA?
    A. Korea
    B. Finland
    C. New Zealand
    D. All three

    5. Approximately how many of the world's countries have a per capita income less than 10% of the USA?
    A. 2/3
    B. 1/2
    C. 1/3

    6. Which country has 4,200 independent denominations, founded by its own citizens, claiming a total membership of 20.3 million?
    A. Nigeria
    B. Argentina
    C. USA

    7. Uttar Pradesh, the largest of India's 29 states, has a population closest to which of the following:
    A. California (34 million)
    B. France (59 million)
    C. U.S. east of the Mississippi
River (168 million)


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