People everywhere are yearning for meaning, purpose, and hope. Scarcely able to express this need, most have settled for an introspective existence, unaware of the mechanisms they’ve used to numb their hearts from their eternal longing – to know and be known by God. In other words…you’ve got a lot of people in your neighborhood who need Jesus. So who are the people in your neighborhood?
Who are your neighbors?
Let’s start with the neighborhood in general. What comprises a neighborhood? The dictionary defines it as a district, especially one forming a community within a town or city. Good to know, but still, it’s a little vague. How far does your neighborhood stretch before it becomes someone else’s neighborhood? Understanding the nuance of your neighborhood is not a perfect science. However, with a little work and how-to’s from the recently published Reaching Those In Need Near Your Church, you can discover more about who you are ministering to so that you can:
- Reach more people
- Bless more families by meeting their needs (physically & spiritually)
- Lead more people to faith
- Watch the health and growth of your neighborhood and church soar
What do they need?
Your neighbors need you. More to the point, they need God – through you. As Jesus’ Body, your church is to represent Him well in your neighborhood. That involves meeting their physical and spiritual needs. Understanding who your neighbors are and what they need is of the utmost importance of vision casting and the key to unlocking service and outreach.
Communication is required to build community, and community drives more and better communication. Good communication also increases engagement, empowers people for discipleship, and spreads the message for growth. Community and communication go hand-in-hand. But remember, you can’t speak their language if you don’t know your neighbors. I remember sitting in an intro-level college Spanish class in which the professor spoke the entire lecture fluently. I felt uncomfortable, nervous, and like I was definitely in the wrong place. In the same way, we must consider the faith language of our neighbors. Are they familiar with the idea of a personal relationship with God, and do they know what the bible says about tithing, or did they grow up with “sister sheets” and “pastor pillow” on Sunday mornings and avoided church at all costs? Establishing relationships with people in order to help meet their needs and lead them into deeper faith requires communication that absolutely makes sense to them.
Nurturing your community
Food for thought: Churches should avoid the temptation to adapt every offering to the “tastes” of their neighbors. But if you’re supplying the bread of life to sustain and nurture your community to health, maybe you should know enough about them to present the good news so that they’ll open the door when the spiritual meal train comes knocking.
In highlighting this new guide, we share some immediate actions your church can take now to discover the opportunities in your neighborhood. It begins with community demographic analysis tools which allow you to drill down into incredible detail, uncovering seemingly limitless tidbits of valuable information. The goal of information is transformation. This is how technology is changing the church. Get informed so your church can be the change agent God designed it to be!
To further connect with our insightful Church Growth Resources, you can also receive ministry blog posts – like this one – straight to your inbox!
Reaching Those In Need Near Your Church
Studies show that more and more people around us are not being reached by local churches. It can be hard to discern how to reach those unreached people in your community.
This free guide can help. This resource provides key insights that can show you how to leverage digital tools like MissionInsite to:
- Define the community you’re trying to reach.
- Learn some of the demographic details of your neighbors.
- Understand the needs and program interests of nearby people.
Drake serves as an ACS Technologies’ Business Development Manager. He’s been with ACST for 4 years as a trusted advisor for clients and partners, focusing on process improvement, leadership development, and metrics for success. Drake enjoys time with his family and participates in various roles at his church.