Previously, Kate Riney shared ways your church can meet the needs of your community, but to actually meet those needs, you first have to know them.
Here are five steps to help your congregation assess your community’s needs.
Draw a map
Draw a map of the community surrounding your church or future site. Include major streets, parks, and attractions. Label assets as you identify them. You can color-code or use a symbol key to help keep things simple.
Learn the history of the community
Make a list of why and when the community was founded and how it has evolved. Include key historical events such as battles, land destruction, political movements, landmarks, natural disasters, changing demographics, etc.
Understand the culture and demographics
List key demographics. Include ethnicities, generations, languages, customs, religions, family structures, political leanings, economics, food, art, clothing, and other self-expressions.
Identify nonreligious assets
List all public or private organizations and services such as banks, medical facilities, schools, libraries, day cares, shopping, gyms, museums, parks, etc.
Note religious assets
List all area churches, cathedrals, mosques, temples, home groups, etc., and include what they offer, such as day care, Vacation Bible school, free meals, clothes closet, prayer meetings, sign language classes, addiction recovery groups, etc.
What conclusions can you draw about your immediate community based on these demographics and assets? Where do you see needs?
KATE RINEY (@KateMRiney) serves on the Candidate Relations Team at Vanderbloemen Search Group, a pastor search firm that helps churches and ministries find their key staff.