Let’s continue to look at 20% of ministry endeavors you are doing as a church that are yielding 80% of the results in making disciples in the context that your church operates – from the types of people you reach to the details of the gathering site.  These “counts” are essential in determining how your church is positioned to grow and answering the key question:  Is our church reflective of and responsive to the community in which we reside?  The primary elements of these “counts” are:  church trends, site considerations and community demographics.  We’ll dive into these elements in more detail in the next blog: Gathering Important Church Demographics.

WHAT WE MEAN BY CONTEXT:  The context of your church pertains to where you are located.  It determines your church’s relevancy in the community and the methods of your church ministry.   Context will dictate your church’s unique strategy to effectively permeate the community.  Contextual relevancy determines if your church is reflective of and responsive to the surrounding community.

WHY WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND CONTEXT:  Analyzing the context in which your church operates reveals insights about the course of your church.  It is important for the church’s trajectory and makeup to reflect the trajectory and the makeup of the community it is in.  Taking time to examine your church context sheds light on whether the church’s outreach strategy is effective in spreading the gospel in its particular community, especially in the post-pandemic era.

HOW SHOULD WE EXAMINE CONTEXT:  Through Excel analysis of church trends and consideration of questions in the Next Step Workbook, you will gather numerical conclusions specific to your church’s trends, site details, and the surrounding community’s demographics.  These results will highlight areas that might need to be emphasized in a different manner as you prepare for growth and change.

Help your church prepare for its next step in partnership with the Baptist Church Loan Corporation.  Next Step Partnership is a BCLC-funded service provided for growing churches that are seeking perspective and insight regarding how they are currently positioned and what their potential future steps might be.  This service is particularly valuable for churches that foresee the need of repurposing their culture, strategy, or facilities.  Click here for more information about Next Step Partnership.

Authored By: Lowell Ashby, Next Step Partnership Specialist