Ministry research is collecting and analyzing information to aid in the mobilization of the Body of Christ and in strategic planning in order to faithfully carry out the Great Commission of Jesus to make disciples of all nations. The purpose of field research is to perceive what the Holy Spirit is doing and where he wants to lead the Body of Christ, so we can cooperate with Him and be used by God in his harvest. It is not for our own edification or personal advancement, but so that we may better participate in God’s plans and so that He may be glorified.
Research can help us step back and look at the big picture and try to discern how we can make an impact on a region (what needs to be done to complete the Great Commission task in a neighborhood, city, country or whatever God puts on our hearts).
It also aids in building credibility when we deal with others in the Body of Christ (intercessors, donors, etc.) as well as those unbelievers we may befriend.
Research helps focus priorities for ministry (pastors, evangelists, church planters’ etc. needs for training, discover what the churches need help with, find the areas least reached with the gospel, etc.)
Research can clear up confusions (particularly useful in helping direct outside resources). In many parts of the world there are stories of churches, denominations or other organizations getting a hold of good research just when they were at a crossroads in deciding how to proceed and the information made those decisions clear. Without good research, such decisions are made in a fog of confusion where what the most persuasive person thinks wins out.