Fruitfulness, Faithfulness, and Competence in Ministry

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Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Do you think that a church ought to do studies of the community in which it finds itself in order to best reach it?
I used to work with a guy who did consulting with Baptist churches on the side. He indicated that folks would drive 20 minutes before distance became a factor. So your 'community' probably includes a footprint reaching about a 20 minute drive in any direction from the church. Unless you are in a sparsely populated rural area or the heart of whitebread suburbia (if there is such a thing anymore) there's probably going to be quite a bit of diversity within that footprint. So the question then becomes whether the congregation will (and can) reach everyone in the community or whether it is going to target subsets and let others target other subsets.
 

Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
Do you think that a church ought to do studies of the community in which it finds itself in order to best reach it? I.e., studying the demographics of the community around the church, the types of people, jobs, community relationships, other organizations, etc? If so, should that impact how the church does ministry? In what way?

And again, related, though slightly different: Should a church develop a plan for how it will reach its community based on those studies? Why or why not?

I don't know how formal those studies would have to be, most of that information could be found in a couple quick internet searches and a drive around the neighborhood. I do think plans are helpful. A plan could simply draw from knowing who you will be engaging, Paul engaged the Greeks on Mars Hill differently than the Jews in the synagog. I think knowing who lives around you and what they already believe (by studying local churches and organizations) can help you to know what you are up against and also help you in the task of being all things to all people.
 
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