church growth, evangelism, research methods, quantitative, qualitative, science, social sciences, church health, missional, missiology


Because the church is the body of Christ, research focused on the Great Commission and Jesus’ concern for evangelism and disciple-making needs to be church-based. The goal of such research is to better share God’s love to a world who does not know him by building up a collection of knowledge that will enable us to do so. This research may be both theological (focusing on what the Bible and other theologians have said) and scientific (focusing on collecting new data and interpreting it, especially in light of theology). Church-based scientific research may be either qualitative (exploring broad ideas and phenomena in a relatively subjective way) or quantitative (testing specific ideas by collecting data measuring the variables of interest as objectively as possible). The Great Commission Research Journal is an especially appropriate outlet for publishing such research.