Narrative Research and Member Care

현대선교 18 (Current Mission Trends): “선교학적 연구 방법론”. 발행 : 2015년 6월 22일, 서울:GMF Press. 수록면 : 135-152.

Eun Ah Cho
Eun Ah Cho(조은아) is currently serving as an assistant professor in Intercultural Studies at ACTS in Korea. She and her family served as full time missionaries in Kazakhstan between 2000 and 2005 where they planted a multi-ethnic church.


Narrative gained its popularity over the past two decades. Narrative, as a method of inquiry which begins with the experiences as expressed in lived and told stories of individuals, has already been applied in a wide range of disciplines such as sociology of health, family and relationships, education, and criminology.

Furthermore, not only researchers, particularly in human and social sciences, but also politicians, policymakers, and journalists in common came to recognize and claim the importance of listening to and understanding narratives. In other words, the prominence of narrative emerged not only in social research but also in popular discourse in the past two decades.

Although there are persistent concerns and questions that still need to be answered, it seems critical for those involved in missions to understand what narrative research is and how it can be applied in and for missions. The purpose of this paper is thus twofold.

First of all, it is to give answers to questions “What is narrative research?” and “Why narrative?” by providing defining features of narrative research and identifying some of its strengths.  Second of all, it is to suggest narrative research as a complementary method for missions, especially for member care purposes.   

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