Getting Grounded with Data

By Mary C. Frances, Senior Consultant

Here at FaithX we have had our share of challenges this Fall. Our executive director moved across the country, which you’d think wouldn’t be all that disruptive since we are a fully remote company but, yes, things got a little crazy. In the midst of his move, our administrative assistant took a new job (good for her!) that left us now down two people and unprepared when our email marketing program went down and not only didn’t properly deliver our weekly blog but also ate half of our mailing list (see footnote below). I, for one, was feeling a bit unmoored, to say the least.

And yet, it seems we here at FaithX are not alone.  In my coaching practice I’ve been noticing this theme all month long: there is too much going on, I have too much on my plate, I feel like I am on the edge of losing my patience. In short, people are feeling ungrounded. The yoga teacher in me wants to invite us all into a big meditation practice, have us take some deep breaths and get refocused on our priorities. But that probably isn’t what you expect from us here at FaithX so let me talk about getting grounded in a different way.

When we are stressed, we tend to look for shortcuts so that one more thing can get checked off our already too-long to-do list. In this way, we might be tempted to rely on anecdotal evidence, fall prey to misinformation or even skip the important step of verifying data before making a major decision. Data can feel like one more step in an already long process or something that is out of reach unless it shows up in a google search. Yet good, solid, reliable data can make all the difference when determining a strategy, navigating next steps or even, as in our case recently, the hiring process.

While good data comes in many shapes and sizes such as community conversations, congregational surveys or table talks, we know that we can trust the demographics and more that we get from our partner Datastory through their reliable program MapDash for Faith Communities. It is through MapDash that we are able to access the Neighborhood Insight Report that helps so many congregational leaders point the way to neighborhood concerns, strengths, and engagement. The Neighborhood Insight Report is chock full of information that comes from thousands of sources through Datastory and another partner, Esri, with worlds largest data clearinghouse. Good, solid, reliable data points are an essential element in helping churches understand the neighborhood in which they live – which helps us all feel just a bit more grounded!

So, let us help you take the next steps toward a more grounded time of discernment in your congregation……take a deep breath and then drop us a note

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