How to Get to Know Your People (Demographics)

Launch_BOOKSince we planted The Journey and especially since my book Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch came out, I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries and questions about what’s involved in starting a new church.

One of the more frequently asked questions is about Demographics.  It’s normally asked something like this: “I know I need to learn more about the people in the area where we’re starting a church (age, family makeup, income, etc.) but how do I get that information?”

Here are four solid sources of demographic information:

1) Your denomination.  If you’re affiliated with a denomination, you can check with them to see what’s available — many denominations will provide you with demographics free of charge.  For example, Southern Baptist churches can obtain free demographics through the North American Mission Board.

2) Another free source of demographics is ZIPskinny.com.  This site is helpful for seeing basic demographics and projections.

3) The Leavell Center of Evangelism in New Orleans offers a more comprehensive set of demographics for a very reasonable cost.

4) The best reports that I’ve seen can be obtained from The Percept Group.  They’re a little more costly, but they are easily the most extensive and useful on this list.

Church Planter: Let me encourage you – no matter where you get your demographic information – make it your aim to learn everything you possibly can about the people God has called you to reach.

This will have far-reaching benefits, from promotion and advertising to ministry strategy to planning your preaching, all combining to help you and your new church be as effective as possible!

P.S. Are you planting a church?  I’d like to give you more than $85.00 of church planting resources to help you in getting started.  Sign up for yours by clicking here.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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