Meet the podcast team from Lifeway Research:
- Scott McConnell, executive director
- Lizette Beard, qualitative director
- Casey Oliver, statistician
Why Research Matters:
Research helps us make better decisions.
We can make better decisions if we understand what’s happening around us and why it’s happening and that’s what research delivers. It is a snapshot, each survey is a snapshot of the culture we live in. Well done research can affirm and correct our narratives as needed.
In sports, stats help us better understand the players and the game.
Because of their interest in sports, many people find sports statistics and data quite interesting. For example, baseball: the game has changed very little over the years, so the stats from generation to generation are incredibly comparable and insightful. Baseball stats give perspective on how a player is doing. The typical player in baseball, especially as a hitter, does incredibly poorly and that’s on average; somebody who gets a hit one out of three times is considered a great hitter. With this as a frame of reference, research about church and culture can become more useful and encouraging. The goal isn’t always “100%” and one or two stats do not tell the entire picture about a baseball player or a disciple. Context matters.
Good research can inform a conversation or be used as a weapon.
Each survey is a snapshot of the culture we live in. As we look over multiple research projects, we see how culture is changing. And, we see how our ministry and our efforts can actually impact that culture around us.
Research data shouldn’t dictate decisions; it should provide perspective.
(See the full transcript for the episode –with links–on next page)