Thursday, December 16, 2010

emerging churches 10 years on: major research project

Sitting in the international departure lounge at Adelaide Airport, enroute to Christchurch via Auckland, I got the news I’d been hanging out for, the granting by the university of ethics approval for me to conduct a research project, a study of the emerging church over time.

In 2000-1, as part of my PhD research, I conducted major qualitative research on new forms of church/alternative worship in UK and New Zealand. This involved interviewing leaders, conducting participant surveys and running focus groups. It became a 140,000 word PhD thesis.

Now, 10 years later, I was seeking approval to repeat the research – to ask the same questions, to conduct the same surveys, to repeat the focus groups. And in so doing, to begin to gain some concrete data on what has happened inside fresh expressions/new forms of church/alt.worship communities over time, in discipleship, in leadership, in sustainability, in life stage.

And so while the Taylor girls flew onto Christchurch, I stayed on in Auckland for another 24 hours. And turned on the tape recorder and conducted my first interview.

What I heard was far more interesting and useful than I expected (and I tend to have fairly high expectations!) Some fabulous data on what should be a really stimulating piece of research.

Posted by steve at 12:46 PM


  1. This is exciting to hear about, Steve! Best wishes.

    Comment by Steve K. — December 16, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  2. Hi Steve. Sounds like very important research. I hope it goes well.

    Comment by Chris McLeod — December 17, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  3. Great news Steve,


    Needed research and I couldn’t think of a better person to do it. I look forward to reading your results.


    Comment by Andrew — December 20, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

  4. Thanks folks. Very kind Andrew.

    A genuine question – would Churches of Christ value me extending the research to include a chapter on the Forge legacy in and through Victoria?


    Comment by steve — December 24, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

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