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Light For The Task – Permanent National Research Functions

This is an interesting article talking about the urgent need to raise up national level unreached people group research efforts. I have on my desk the manual “National Research Mobilization Handbook”, by Bob Waymire. I wonder why this idea has disappeared? One of the purposes of the Etnopedia is to foster national unreached people research efforts providing a free, simple tool in the national language. Our vision is not a new one. It is one that needs to be revisited by the mission movement.

Article Light For The Task – We must have light! We must know the situation as it really is, not what we imagine it to be. When we labor under ignorance and error, outdated and irrelevant information, the Kingdom of Darkness has a distinct advantage, and millions will never be brought into the light.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I really know about the advance of the Gospel in my country?
  • Which people groups are still unreached, or nearly so?
  • How many and where are the villages, towns and urban neighborhoods that have no Bible-believing churches?
  • Which methods of evangelism and church-planting are proving to be the most productive? Where? Why?
  • How fast is the national Church growing? Where? Who?
  • What is the “harvest force” doing collectively in our nation or region?
  • What is the population per church ratio for the nation? State/province? Urban center?
  • If the Church keeps growing at the current rate, where will we be in 5 years? 20?

Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “Why do I need to know all this `big picture’ stuff?”

An individual soldier may not need to have the big picture of all the battlefields, but the battle commander and the line officers do.

The battle commander must have an accurate, up-to-date picture of the enemy’s location, strength, capabilities, movements, supply and intentions. He must also know his own force’s strength and capabilities, their location and supply lines. The battle commander’s goal is to win the war — battle by battle.

We need accurate, up-to-date, relevant information if we are to see the potential reached in completing the task of world evangelization — “making disciples of all nations.”

The next series of logical questions would relate to: a) the information (light) needed to underwrite and achieve these goals, and b) implications for the national Church.

  • Who has this kind of information? Is it currently available? Being gathered?
  • If so, how current is it? How often updated? What forms is it in? Is it published?
  • Are there maps showing the location/distribution and status of the harvest force & harvest field? Who should be involved? What structures should or would be appropriate? How much will it cost? Where will the support come from?
  • Who should take the initiative? Who should provide the oversight?

Permanent National Research Functions

Each country needs an ongoing national-level research and information function that is designed and geared to providing accurate, up-to-date information for all those in the Body of Christ who need to make use of it. I call this a Permanent National Research Function (PNRF).

The goal and purpose of the PNRF is to obtain, maintain and manage, analyze and report, publish and share that accurate, up-to-date relevant information the Body of Christ in the nation needs to carry forth its variety of ministries towards the completion of the Great Commission task.

Ghana, the Philippines, India, Zimbabwe, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, New Zealand, England, Latvia and several other countries have, to varying degrees, a functioning national-level research and information function. However, none of these efforts are yet fully operational.

The primary purposes & functions of a PNRF

(ref. NRMH pp. 4,5 — see below)

  • Coordinate and/or monitor research efforts within the country.
  • Provide information resources via a “national information resource center.”
  • Provide information management and analysis.
  • Coordinate/provide training in research and information management, and information management tools.
  • Communicate and present findings through a variety of media.
  • Share information with others, including electronic networking.

Basic structures or elements of a PNRF?

(ref. NRMH pp.6-12 — see below)

  • The National Research and Information Committee is a decision-making body made up of representatives of various organizations, and is the body having the primary responsibility for seeing the PNRF established and operational. This committee is not responsible for actually gathering and/or managing the information, but for seeing that the right information is gathered and managed properly. This vital role necessitates highly qualified, experienced persons who have authority to act on behalf of their organizations.
  • The Information Resource Center has actual stewardship of the information, including obtaining and managing data. It should be staffed by full-time, trained personnel. Its roles include designing/ adapting and coordinating surveys, providing information management and analysis including maps and graphics, providing training in surveys and information management, compiling reports, maintaining information in accessible forms and formats, linking with appropriate information-sharing networks, publishing and presenting findings and analysis… all on an ongoing basis.

It is not an easy task to get the right information, in the right form, in the right hands, at the right time. However, it is absolutely essential if we are to see the Kingdom of Darkness defeated by the Kingdom of Light. Satan does not want the harvest force to know the facts. He doesn’t want us to measure effectiveness or evaluate goals, plans and methods against valid data.

Nehemiah provides a good Biblical lesson on God-guided plans and research. He was continually relying upon God, the Master Research Coordinator. His motives were to see God’s people restored to their Lord, and their separation from the world (hence the rebuilding of the walls). His process was prayer- guided. The information obtained was used to motivate, mobilize and involve God’s people, ultimately to praise, worship and celebrate their God.

Detailed information regarding establishing Permanent National Research Functions, set forth in the National Research Mobilization Handbook, by Bob Waymire, is available from LIGHT Int’l.

Jim Montgomery, in DAWN 2000: 7 Millions Church To Go, refers to how the “prophetic message,” developed from the analysis of the harvest force and harvest field data, is used in setting national goals for new believers and churches:

“Such goals distill the data of the researcher and the message of the Lord into a clear, understandable vision that can easily be communicated. The goals become the driving force that mobilizes God’s people to efforts they never dreamed possible.” (p.143, emphasis mine)

The National Research Mobilization Network is dedicated to assisting the national Church in every country to establish an ongoing research and information function in order for the Body of Christ to have the “light” it needs for effectively carrying forth the task of world evangelization.

Countries that already have initiated PNRF’s can share their experience. We can help supply needed tools and services, and/or coordinate training in information strategies, surveys and information management. We can supply research and strategy consultation.

It is my dream that some day… we will see the enemy of our souls recoiling from the light that is shining forth in every country as the Body of Christ is methodically keeping an up-to-date picture of the harvest force and harvest force.

…There will be readily available maps of every country and urban area, depicting the distribution and status of the various ministries of the harvest force.

… There will be special teams in each region of the world who can provide technical and strategic research and information management know-how to others in the area.

…We will see the Body of Christ, having a clear picture of the objective, with a common goal, cooperating together, even with all of our different roles and talents.

Having accurate, up-to-date, relevant information — light — in the right hands in the right time doesn’t guarantee success… but we can’t get there without it!

May 1993 Quote from Bob Waymire

If the Body of Christ does not have readily available accurate, up-to-date information about both, the harvest fields (unreached people group list) and the harvest force (a reached status indicator), it will lose sight of its long-range goal, expend its energies and resources in many good deeds, leave many harvest fields untouched, and return empty-handed out of others. Millions will remain in Bondage and never experience the powerful, life-changing love and care of our Lord Jesus Christ.

However–when the Body of Christ has the facts (light) it needs, it will then be possible to reach the potential of making disciples of all nations, see whole societies liberated from bondage, and see Jesus Christ incarnate in every segment of society showing forth His loving care, truth and redemption. The Kingdom of Light will shine forth in victory!
Added (unreached people group list) and (a reached status indicator).

Niyi Gbade, Nigeria
Zonal Director, Calvary Ministries
Chairman, AD 2000 National Research Mobilization Network
Bob Waymire, U.S.A.
President, Light International
Coordinator, AD 2000 National Research Mobilization Network
 
Source http://www.ad2000.org/gcowe95/natrsrh.html
 
Other related links:
http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/ad2000-news-and-updates