Research, Church, Quantatitve, Qualitative, Ministry


Church-based research requires working with abstract concepts ranging from sin to sanctification. Theories, concepts, and operationalizations allow us to work with these abstractions. Theories are sets of statements describing how specific concepts relate to each other. Concepts are broad ideas that exist in our thinking that can be used to describe phenomena, both within and exterior to the church. If we measure the concepts in our theories among multiple people, we can determine to what degree the relationships in our theories are true or discover under what conditions they are true. Sometimes concepts can be measured directly; other times they must be measured indirectly. Operationalizations are the specific processes used for measuring each of the concepts. As we test and refine our theories, we can more effectively accomplish the ministries to which we are called.