This the 7th and last post in a multi-part series. Click here to read the previous post.
Step 4 – Where Are Our Future Opportunities and Threats? (Investing in The New). Think of this in term of ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s immortal wisdom: “I don’t skate to where the puck is, I skate to where the puck is going.” In other words, it is insufficient to just know where there are people in need of ministry, to whom your churches could uniquely minister. You must also understand where you have no presence, and what you would have to do to be present there.
To do this, you would want to start by identifying all areas of your diocese which are not within 15 minutes of another congregation of your denominatiuon. These are areas where your diocese does not have a functional presence (since 70% of people will not drive more than 15 minutes to attend a congregation) and which merit more research as possible sites for new congregations, using the same three community population trends identified above to refine your search:
- Population Growth. Growing or shrinking? (Growing is better)
- Diversity. Increasing or decreasing? (Increasing is better)
- Generational Balance. More balanced or less balanced? (More is better)
Example – Assessing Sites for New Church Starts Based on External Sustainability: