Is Your Church Sticky and Magnetic?
After digging into Census data, the Pew Research Center has uncovered trends about each state and uniquely packaged them in a memorable format. They have created a typology that groups states as “sticky,” “magnetic,” both, or neither.
They define each term: “Magnet” states are those in which a high share of the adults who live there now moved there from some other state. “Sticky” states are those in which a high share of the adults who were born there live there now.
It’s a great way to look at population changes and migration between states. Each state can be grouped into one of five categories.
High Sticky/High Magnet. Attract a lot of people and retain most of the population born there. My current state of residence, Florida, is an example.
Low Sticky/Low Magnet. Do not attract a lot of people and lose much of the population born there. Maine is an example.
High Sticky/Low Magnet. These states retain many of the people born there, but do not attract people from other states. My home state of Kentucky is an example.
Low Sticky/High Magnet. These states attract outsiders but do not retain people that were born there. Alaska is an example.
Neither here nor there. These states rank near the middle for both stickiness and magnetism, an example being Connecticut.
After reading this study, I see much application for the church. The below matrix represents how a church should strive for both stickiness (assimilation) and magnetism (outward focus).
It’s a simple (and admittedly incomplete) way to think of the church’s mission, but what are your thoughts?
Additionally, a great resource for stickiness is Larry Osborne’s book, Sticky Church.