The Research forum for faithful witness

The purpose of the forum is to create a dynamic environment where mission researchers in different parts of the global Church can collaboratively address the need for ongoing research in relation to the changing nature of faithful witness in service of the Church. The research forum builds on the expertise, reputation, and understanding of God’s mission of OCMS.

How Does it Work?

Catalyses vibrant conversations between scholars and practitioners to identify research needs and address research findings.

  • Provides an environment for researchers that nurtures spiritual discernment, attentiveness to the Holy Spirit at work in the world and throughout the Church.
  • It fosters and supports cutting edge research with intellectual curiosity and openness concerning the witness of the people of God.
  • It makes knowledge and scholarship available in ways that are accessible to the Church

Our Areas of Focus

There are 3 areas of research interest.

Local Christian community witness
The Body of Christ in a local context gathered in worship and witness as well as visible through members of the Body involved in their communities in faithful witness. 

These individuals and groups may be in local churches or in regional groups of churches, or other groupings of Jesus followers. There are places where witness breaks down between different parts of the Body of Christ and this needs to be acknowledged and addressed.

Cross-cultural mission movements
Individuals and teams moving from their own ethno-linguistic communities and cultures into other cultural spaces in faithful witness.

Historically, this has involved specialists (missionaries) and tended to involve moving to another place with the goal of establishing churches. Creating intercultural relationships has become a means of witness and takes place within every context.

Integral witness
Individuals and groups of Christians whose focus is on the kingdom of God, 

Historically, the integral mission movement has been located in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Faith-based Organisations (FBOs) and has tended to focus on societal transformation. It now includes integral witness through business and the marketplace. It calls upon the need to resource and equip those who work in the profit marketplace and secular social enterprise for integral witness.

Each of our circles includes the question of public missiology/witness.

Our Approach

We aim to  incorporate  theological thinking with historical and current experience in order to gain greater understanding of what it is to bear faithful witness.  Deep engagement with Scripture from varied contexts and perspectives is an essential component of this research and writing. 

  • The Forum collects and collates what is already available in the areas of research interest. 
  • It stimulates interaction of practitioners and scholars through connecting researchers, theologians, missiologists, church leaders, organizational and movement leaders, and storytellers already exploring these areas. It encourages the  investigation of  gaps in research and engagement in research and writing
  • It presents research in diverse media (documents, blogs, vlogs etc) including the use of the platform of the Alliance of Mission Researchers and Institutes (AMRIConnect)
  • It seeks to remove the language barriers.
    Communication, languages and tools used are diverse so that space is created where researchers can contribute using different languages. This includes the use of translation tools (AI) so that as many speakers as possible can access what is being said and contribute in their primary languages of research and communications.

Who Participates in the Forum?

The Forum is made up of reflective practitioners and scholars. It aims to be diverse in age, ethnicity, gender, research focus and localities. It includes thought leaders on the interface of theology, culture, and mission.

The Benefits

The work of the Forum brings greater integration of faithful witness between different expressions of the Body of Christ: local, national and transnational. Things that are still marginal will become ‘second nature’ within the understanding and practice of faithful witness within the church. 

Who specifically will benefit? Church leaders, Christian leaders influencing churches, denominations, networks, leaders and influencers of issues-based movements, organisational leaders and influencers and other mission researchers.