Archive for December, 2010

Tailoring your ministry to impact your community

Posted: December 9, 2010 by efenster in Resources


 What do you do with all the demographic data that’s available through the Indiana Conference’s MissionInsite 24/7 free online data service?  There are  two great resources.  The first is a template you can download from its “Documents” section called “QuickInsite Workshop.”  It will walk you through unpacking the data in your community demographic studies.  
The second, based on Mosaic lifestyle groups, actually describes the type of pastoral leadership, worship, hospitality, discipleship, etc., that will best impact your community.  This tool, called “Mission Impact,” can also be found in the “Documents” section of the site.  For example, the predominate lifestyle group of my church’s community is labelled “Small-Town Success”  and is described as “White-collar, college-educated, middle-aged working couples living in newly developed subdivisions outside the nation’s beltways.”   Below is the description from the Mission Impact report…
 Reaching out to “Small Town Success”

This type once represented the backbone of mainstream and evangelical denominations, but in recent years has grown disenchanted with denominational politics and is more attracted byclearly  congregational visions. They are college educated and white collar couples that idealize the traditional family (although often do not live up to the ideal). The often have liberal arts backgrounds and live upscale, successful lifestyles. Increasingly they may distance themselves from church, and involve themselves in the artistic and non‐profit life of the community.

Leadership: Care Giver, Enabler

This lifestyle type expects the pastor to be certified officer of the church, but very friendly and approachable. They like the minister to be available in the office or at home at all times, and to visit regularly in hospitals or the homes of people in special need. They often assume that laity do administration, and clergy do ministry. They enjoy committees more than teams, and expect staff to resource whatever they decide to do.

Hospitality: The Basics, Multiple Choices

This group enjoys hearty greetings and quality foods. However, they often arrive at the last minute before worship. They enjoy “passing the peace” and may linger talking with friends. They will take their turn on task groups that greet newcomers or follow up on visitors, but assume that they need no training and the church will accept whatever they offer. They like to wear nametags, partly to identify newcomers, and partly to display their membership in a club.  Motivated by a big vision, they will pursue a quest for quality.

Worship: Inspirational and Care Giving

This group primarily seeks inspiration. They consciously or unconsciously long for a higher purpose to which they can surrender their church and their lives. They like presentational, or even concert‐like, worship. It may be classical or contemporary, but it should energize and focus them for the coming week. They appreciate great music, usually lyrical in style, and often applaud or participate in the presentation. At the same time, they prefer the intimacy of a family at worship. They share prayer concerns avidly, usually for family or friends.

Education: Curricular, Biblical, and Generational

Either Sunday morning or midweek options are possible for this group, but it must be relevant to their needs. They will not make time for something that doesn’t matter to them. Children and youth education matters much more than adult education, but they do value adult affinity groups with a spiritual growth intention. They usually assume children and youth will study an approved curriculum in age based classes. Adult Sunday school usually follows some printed resource with a strong Biblical orientation, but the focus may be liberal or conservative.

Small Groups: Rotated Leaders, Curriculum Based

This group tends to gather as an affinity group around a topic of interest, but internally selects a printed resource to follow. They value strong volunteer leadership, but may not respond well to paid staff as leaders. They like to rotate leadership, so long as individuals have the opportunity to pass. They are often open to training for small group leadership, although they may resist accountability. They prefer groups that encourage personal discovery (spiritual gifts discernment, personal typology, holistic health, etc.) but may not readily accept mentoring for personal mission.

Outreach: Survival, Health, Quality of Life

This group usually emphasizes local mission, although they are increasingly involved in short term “crisis intervention” with mission teams that travel within North America. They are increasingly skeptical of the efficiency of denominationally sponsored missions, and prefer cooperation with faith‐based, international non‐profit organizations like World Vision. They want to make a difference in their communities, but tend to focus more on “doing things” and “improving daily living”, rather than “shaping attitudes” or “strategic planning”. They tend to assume the universality of personal core values, and come to appreciate diversity primarily through personal interaction rather than study.
















For example, the Mosaic group that’s predominate in my church’s area is called “Small-town Success” and is described as follows:   “White-collar, college-educated middle-aged working couples living in newly developed subdivisions outside the nation’s beltways.”  You can get a general description of what this group is like, and then the tool gives specific information on how a church can best respond to this group.  Here’s what it says…