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 When we labor under ignorance and error, outdated and irrelevant information, the Kingdom of Darkness has a distinct advantage, and millions will never be brought into the light.
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.
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.
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!Niyi Gbade, Nigeria