Resonate Global Mission offers demographic studies to churches so that they can learn more about their community. In the United States the resource is called MissionInsite. In Canada the resource is Outreach Canada. The data provided in these reports can give you ideas about how your community has changed and how you can connect with your neighbors, and these reports can help you decide how to use your resources wisely to serve your community.
Time needed for activity
requires about an hour of preparation work, a week or two of lead time to get your unique report prepared, and 60-90 minutes to receive and learn about the report
any number of current members and regular visitors
Steps for Activity
Discern the boundaries of your neighborhood. Given where your church is located, what is your neighborhood ‘parish’? Consider natural boundaries, such as busy roads, rivers, etc., and draw the boundaries of your neighborhood on a map.
Invite a Resonate representative to share the report with you to help you learn about the important insights you can gain from this report.
Ask yourselves some follow-up discussion questions:
Does your church look like the surrounding community?
What segments of the population are growing in this community? How well are those segments represented in your church?
Whom do you know (who may or may not be part of your church currently) that fits the demographics of a growing segment in your community? What can you learn from them?
Where does the report show that your community spends their time, talent, and treasure? How often do they spend their time, talent, and treasure in those places? Can you intentionally create more opportunities to interact with your neighbors in these places?
Based on these reports, where do you see the Spirit at work in your community? Where do you see brokenness that needs to be restored and redeemed?
Finish by praying for the people you have read about in these reports. Although these reports contain a lot of numerical data, each number represents a person who is made in the image of God and whom God loves. Pray that God will grow your heart for this community.
After the activity, allow time for discussion around some questions like these:
What surprises you about these reports?
What changes have you observed in your community in the past 15-20 years? What do you think is coming in the next 15-20 years?
What barriers keep you from connecting with the people you have read about in these reports?
What’s one, small, baby step that God might be inviting you to take to connect with the growing population segments noted in this report?