Information about people living in a specific area of your church’s ministry area can be beneficial to the planning of activities and events for your church. Using community data such as the age of the people, the number of children, youth, or senior adults, and other information can allow church leaders to plan activities or events that will capture the interest of the people in a specific area. For example, if a geographic area is identified and census demographic information is obtained which indicate 67% of the people in that area are single and 2% are between the age of 13 and 18, it might be wise to plan events for singles rather than events for youth. If a church is wanting to develop a community softball team and the census demographic information indicates the average age in the targeted area is 73, the church may wish to rethink the plan.
I led church leaders in one church to study the census demographic information for their ministry area. During the study it was revealed that 60% of the adult population liked to purchase sporting equipment. The Pastor stated the largest sporting goods store in the state was a few blocks from the church. After a couple of brain-storming sessions, it was decided to approach the owner of the store. The church presented a proposal of providing sacks for all purchases made in the sporting goods store for one year if the owner would allow the store’s logo and information to be printed on one side of each sack and the church’s logo and information printed on the other side of the sack. The owner agreed. After six months the Pastor informed me attendance at church had increased considerably. The Pastor also said they interviewed the new folks and were told they had seen the church information on the sacks and decided to check out the church.
Another church asked for assistance in publicizing an additional worship service they were going to start. They said it was going to cost a sizable amount of money to print and mail flyers to the entire ministry area. After much discussion it was determined they wanted to focus on young adults. The question was asked about the type of music they would be offering at this new service. I took that information and studied the census demographic information for their ministry area. I was able to match the type of music they were going to provide in their worship service with a similar type of music of young adults in the ministry area. I then was able to extract names and addresses and provide a mailing list to the church. They used the mailing list to send out several pieces of information for a fraction of the original expense. Their first worship service had just under 300 in attendance.
These are two examples of how census demographic, or community data, could be used in assisting church leaders to plan activities or events. Census demographic information is readily available from a variety of companies. You may wish to check with your Southern Baptist associational office or your state convention office. Many times they provide this service for free or for a nominal cost.