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The Community of Mission Information Workers builds Community and Communication among Mission Data Researchers


It is often said that data is the “steam” of the new technology industrial revolution – the element that energizes the rest of the work at hand. Christian missional engagement relies on data as well. Hundreds of Christian organizations, agencies, and networks use mission data to identify trends, evaluate priorities, and assess progress. The better that data is, and the more data that can be effectively collected and shared, the more energy goes into the work at hand.

Now in its 14th year, the Community of Mission Information Workers (CMIW) has brought together hundreds of those who gather, analyze, transform, or publish mission information in Christian mission enterprises, networks, and agencies from around the world. In other words, this is a group of Christian researchers and data people working with various Christian organizations to collect and analyze data for missional engagement.

The Community formed in 2009 as an initial set of researchers recognized they were often isolated in their tasks, and wanted both to help and be helped with the information tasks they were working on.

As a community, it wants to “Live up to its God-given responsibilities, encourage the godly use of information with integrity; prioritize prayer – praying ourselves and facilitating prayer through our information; develop a clear view of what we do with information – how does God see it?; understand why information is important – what are its limitations?”

The Community is intentionally broad and inclusive about those it welcomes so that it attracts a variety of talented people. Its website ( notes that, “Some people in our community gather data and information, some store it, others visualize it, many use it, all are learners.”


CMIW currently has 800 people on its collective mailing lists: 647 English; 128 Portuguese; and 25 Spanish. This wide community keeps in touch through a quarterly bulletin cleverly titled “Correct Me If I’m Wrong” (after the CMIW initials); see an index to past editions at

As information workers, participants in CMIW have specific interest in the management of data and knowledge stewardship for Christian mission activity. They want to engage in continuous processes of discovery, alignment, and collaboration through the creation of standards and best practices. They want to provide a solid platform for community and communication among mission data researchers. And they maintain a Google discussion group “KSKI” about Knowledge Stewardship for Kingdom Impact.

A taste of the topics addressed in the quarterly CMIW bulletins includes:

  • Databases as a Wellspring for Collaboration
  • Doing Research in Hostile Environments
  • The Visualization of Data: Missiographics
  • Who’s Who in Missions Information
  • How can mission research better serve local leaders’ agendas?

CMIW is served by notable researchers and data people: Larry Kraft, Stephanie Kraft, Chris Maynard, Duane Frasier, Nelson Jennings, Lara Heneveld, Adeoluwa Olanrewaju, and Rodrigo Tinoco. Organizations represented by these eight scratch the surface of the breadth of robust connections that are built up within CMIW: Global Church Planting Network; Global Missiology; Joshua Project; Lausanne Movement; Nigeria Evangelical Mission Association; One Challenge International; Research Department of the AMTB (Association of Cross-Cultural Missions of Brazil); Team Expansion; and World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission.

In practical terms, the Community says it favors

  • Good graphics with color, sound, movement and visualizations as context permits
  • Willingness to challenge prevailing assumptions
  • Getting tools and tips that make our jobs easier or clearer
  • Thinking about the Church in local, regional, national, and global terms
  • Reading each other’s reports
  • Being serious about the spirituality of Missions Information Work
  • Gathering together from time to time

By sharing mission data research within the Community, its members can raise the standards for high quality data collection, analysis, and reporting. By providing models that, for instance, help readers quickly absorb information that might otherwise be impenetrable.

The April 2023 bulletin, for example, highlighted the impact that creative visualizations can have on the presentation of otherwise “tedious” data (see below; the full size graphic can be found here). The article’s author noted, “Through the use of this kind of graphic, the data were presented in five minutes. Many of the leaders in attendance had not had the time to read the report. Nevertheless, after presenting the information visually, the leaders began to ask specific questions correlating the data they saw with the ministries of the many translation organizations involved in this movement.”


CMIW has held Mission Information Workers’ Virtual Conferences in September 2022 and April 2023. One of the findings from these was a widespread desire for greater awareness and access to Mission Information Worker training resources. In response, it canvassed mission organizations for any systematic training in mission information research. That effort found very little training by those organizations in research that truly qualified as systematic.

These virtual conferences have accelerated the development of mission information and the mission information community. Plenaries developed mission data standards, examined gaps in global mission data, offered practical training of mission information workers, and furthered development of national mission information work. These conferences have been jointly sponsored by CMIW, the Lausanne Research & Strategic Information Network, and Harvest Information Standards (HIS).

Speaking of joint sponsorship, CMIW has several key organizations it partners with in encouraging and assisting mission information workers. Among them are:


The CMIW Community already has participants who are exploring AI and/or are in connection with the AI and Faith expert community, including Andrew Feng (USA); Samuel Ka-Chieng Law (Singapore); Nick Parker (South Africa); Andrew Flynn (UK); and Keith Carey and his team of writers (USA). Keith Carey’s team, for example, is using AI for Joshua Project to generate initial drafts of people group profiles where information is scarce.

The leadership of CMIW welcomes inquiries and connections with those in the AI and Faith expert community. Contact the leadership team here. Subscribe to its free quarterly bulletin. Join its KSKI (Knowledge Stewardship for Kingdom Impact) Discussion Forum.

Contact the author of this article at

Rev. David Hackett

has been a pastoral minister and mission mobilizer since 1985. Most recently he served for 19 years with VisionSynergy (, which helps Christian organizations worldwide work together for maximum impact by developing and strengthening large-scale strategic ministry networks and partnerships in critical areas of world mission. This work has dealt with sophisticated deployment of technology for collaboration and engagement in the Middle East and North Africa. Dave was born in Princeton, NJ, raised in the Pacific Northwest and Saudi Arabia, and educated at the University of Washington (Seattle), Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena) and Oxford University (Oxford, UK).

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