Information enables those involved in mission to better understand ministry environments, make informed decisions and use resources wisely. GMI Research Services is committed to helping the mission community to plan, gather, interpret and apply research effectively.
GMI Research Services comes alongside missionaries, mission agencies, churches, seminaries and associations in a variety of roles, depending on the need. We are comfortable serving as:
Some specific ways that GMI Research Services can help you or your organization include:
Some mission organizations want to conduct their own research, and just need an idea or a "look over the shoulder." GMI Research Services provides email and telephone consulting and feedback to mission groups that are interested in designing their own project, collecting their own data or conducting their own data analysis. We also participate in think tanks, mission board or staff meetings, and on-site teams for research or evaluation.
In keeping with GMI's emphasis on partnering with Christians in the developing world, GMI Research Services provides research resources to the global Christian community. Recently, GMI coordinated a seven-country research project on the churches' response to AIDS, working closely with a research center in each country. GMI has also programmed a survey and facilitated data collection for the Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association's survey of students attending GOfest '04, Africa's largest student mission convention. In addition, GMI has assisted an Indian seminary in creating a survey of its alumni.
Have a research objective, but not sure how to get there? GMI Research Services is available to design, execute, analyze and present research projects for organizations and associations. Whether a study requires a quantitative survey or a qualitative discussion; whether it requires directly posing questions (primary research) or investigating published facts (secondary research), whether it is conducted in person, via phone, mail, or on the Internet, GMI Research Services offers a full complement of research services. Currently, GMI is leading Engage!, a cooperative survey of field missionaries commissioned by the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission. Other research projects GMI included new-product-development research for ACMC (Advancing Churches in Missions Commitment), and an online discussion among executive leadership of the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies.
The Internet enables you to gather and organize information from large or small audiences online, quickly and inexpensively, without geographic limitations. Need feedback from constituents about their level of interest in a new idea? Want to have donors or churches compare new communication or branding designs? Need feedback on your website from prospective missionaries? Want to foster discussion with colleagues in an environment where participants can be anonymous? All of these and more are possible with online surveys and focus groups. GMI's online focus group facility is easy to use, even for those who don't often venture online. We can help you plan or execute any aspects of a group, from recruiting and programming to fieldwork, moderating, analysis and reporting.
GMI Research Services initiates carefully selected research projects, making results available to the mission community. We are currently leading FlightPlan, an international collaborative effort to study the future of mission aviation ministry around the world. Earlier, GMI conducted the Mission Agency Web Review, an online survey in which thousands of prospective missionaries were invited to visit and review the websites of prominent sending agencies; designed to identify how prospective missionaries use the Internet to sort through opportunities, and how agencies can develop their web sites to most effectively meet the needs of future missionaries.
Breakthrough! Steps to Research and Resolve the Mysteries in your Ministry is an on-field, on-the-job training manual designed for missionaries who want to better discern God's direction in the perplexities of their work. The unique and practical Breakthrough! method combines field research and prayer to help missionaries get fresh perspective and renewed hope on the seemingly unsolvable problems in their ministry. Insights gained allow workers to adjust their methods, greatly increasing the probablility of a breakthrough in their area of concern.
GMI Research Services also offers Breakthrough Coaching, a 12-week email program that mentors field missionaries through the steps needed to do primary field research on an issue or problem in their own ministries, seeking God's will for what they are to do about it. The program may be done as independent study or as part of an academic program such as the MA in Organizational Leadership offered by Development Associates International in partnership with selected universities. Two Breakthrough trainees have successfully expanded their Breakthrough research into a doctoral dissertation, one for a Ph.D. in Britain and another for a D.Min. in the U.S.
GMI researchers are available to speak at mission conferences and retreats.