In this article we will examine the unbelievable growth from doing diagnostics and research on your project or ministry. Most of the time when one thinks about diagnostics or research it is automatically tied to boring. In this article we will shed some new light on this powerful tool of research.
One of the tasks that we give initiators at First Priority when first working with them is asking the individual to do a city diagnostic. The purpose behind the diagnostic is to shed light on the needs in their community. What we have found is diagnostics deepens the individuals burden to implement change.
About three years ago I was able to do one of the city diagnostics. Just to give a little history about myself three years ago I was in full-time student ministry. During that time I was burdened about reaching students that never stepped into a church. A book actually at the time called simple youth ministry by ? directed me to First Priority. This got me interested and so the next thing I did was jump on google to check out First Priority. I was able to read some information about the ministry and feel in love with its concepts. On the website I filled out the get more info contact form.
Within a matter of hours a national staff member called and began to share more info about the ministry. And then I was introduced to the city diagnostic. I took the challenge and began doing my research about the county I was living in at the time. To be honest at first I just wanted to begin ministry at the local schools and not do research. Thankfully I did the diagnostic and the info I found it really began to open my eyes.
The worst problem found in that county at the time was the number of suicides the information reported 6 total teenage deaths and 4 of them were suicide. This really rattled me. The next question was “What was the population of teenagers in your area? The answer was 12,000. The question that came next was “ How many teenagers in your area are plugged into the local church? The answer was 2500. From the diagnostic research it revealed that only 20% of the teenage population in our area attended a local church.
Any minister called by God after seeing the numbers would be compelled to do something. I asked the questions “Why did I never realize this before?”
As a youth pastor it can be so easy to get tunnel vision. I had fell victim to tunnel vision as well. Tunnel vision is where all your focus is on the responsibilities from your church and ministry you serve. The diagnostic and research was like the tunnel exploding and my vision got very big very fast.
Just about every youth pastor you talk to you one common factor is found. They all want to grow their ministries. It is very easy to get this mixed up with the numbers game. Some will knock other ministers who show concern about numbers and even become defensive about this and even say “those individuals are all about the numbers.”
Numbers represent individuals and those individuals represent a soul. The problem most confuse the two can be solved by motive. The growth is not the problem a lot of time it is the motive. If the motive is look at me I have the largest youth group in all the land then there is a problem. The motive should be “I am willing and ready to reach as many people for Christ sake.” If this is your motive then I believe you will see growth.
Fast forwarding four years later from the diagnostic and research produced over 2500 salvations in that community, locally owned non-profit ministry serving the local church and numerous churches networking to impact the community with the gospel. In Nehemiah 2 it shows that he understood the power of diagnostic and researching before beginning to do a mighty work he was burdened with.
*“12Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. “*
I believe Diagnostics and research provides:
1. Information for a burden 2. Provides prayer needs 3. Reason 4. Provides needs to ask for 5. Unbelievable growth
RESEARCH YOUR AREA Teenage Culture Information can be received from places like your local police dept, health dept., school guidance counselor, and social services agencies. The answers to these areas of interest can be stories as much as it can be a statistic.
1.Number of teens in your area Number of schools: private and public
2.Number of students failing in school School dropouts
3.Number of juvenile crimes and arrests in your city Teen pregnancies
4.Percentage of drug use in your city STDs
5.Number of teen deaths in your city -Drug related Suicide related Car related
6.Number of Abused children
7. Government lunch at school
8.Number of teens On anti-depressant medication
Comments and Thoughts
Have you seen this to be true in your case ?
What burden do you have to implement change ? How can diagnostics and research deepen your burdens?
Originally posted 2013-11-13 10:30:04.