Do You Really Know the Community Around Your Church? Four Questions to Ask

Sam Rainer

March 1, 2020

Your church’s address is not an accident. God sovereignly placed your church in your location to reach the people around you. Do you know them? Jesus’ Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) gives clear instructions: Love your neighbor. Knowing your neighbor is the first step to loving your neighbor.

Do you really know your community? Do you know your neighbors?

Four questions can be quite revealing.

1. How many people live within twenty minutes of your church? Typically, church leaders dramatically underestimate how many people live right around the church. I’ve asked this question numerous times. I’ve heard answers that underestimate by tens of thousands.

2. What percentage of your community is ethnic minority? Like the first question, most underestimate the ethnic population in their community. In many communities, almost all the growth is fueled by ethnic minorities and immigrants.

3. Which generation is the fastest growing in your community? In many communities, the youngest generation is the fastest growing. But this generation might be different than you expect. It’s not Millennials! It’s their children—Gen Z. And they are the most diverse generation in U.S. history.

4. How many people regularly participate in and give to a religious organization? You will likely be surprised by the low percentage of this answer.

It’s hard to reach your community if you don’t know your community. How can you create an outreach program without knowing the people you are attempting to reach?

It’s easier to love your community if you know your community. Once you understand who they are, then you can know how to love them better.

The call to lead a church is a call to shepherd the community. You cannot separate the calling of church and community. They are one and the same.

Perceived demographics are often different than actual demographics. You may think you know your community, but in many cases church leaders have a skewed view of who lives around the church.

Here is a solution. Church Answers has created a new resource to answer these four questions and many more! It’s called the Know Your Community report. To say we are excited about this new report is an understatement. We offer this incredible demographic and psychographic report to help you reach and love your community. You can learn more about the report by clicking the link above.

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