Do you want to reach new people in your community? Do you want to design or improve ministry programs while managing opportunities and the stress of forging change?
These are wants that well-resourced demographic and lifestyle research can help church leaders fulfill as they chart their paths forward in mission. The Eastern PA Conference Congregational Development Team (CDT) will help leaders learn to effectively use a proven, sophisticated but user-friendly research tool in four workshops, Oct. 5-6, led by renowned church growth strategist the Rev. Thomas Bandy.
That popular, multi-dimensional research tool is MissionInsite, which CDT subscribes to and makes available at no cost to help every church learn about its community’s needs and spur congregational growth. There will be step-by-step instruction for MissionInsite beginners–who will learn to upload church membership data and navigate the www.MissionInsite.com Website–and for advanced users who will learn to use targeted research for strategic planning and leadership training.
Participants will learn how to explore and compare demographic and psychographic trends in their membership and mission fields, along with social dynamics, diverse lifestyles and expectations. Their findings can broadly impact spiritual leadership, hospitality and outreach efforts, worship planning, discipleship and Christian education programs, resource development, and use of facilities and technology.
The workshops, titled “See, Know and Serve” (not to be confused with the Northeastern Jurisdiction’s Oct. 2-4 Transformational Leadership Conference, titled “See, Know, Love“) will occur during the day–10 AM to 2 PM–at the EPA Conference Center and during the evenings–6:30 to 9 PM–at two churches: New Hanover UMC on Oct. 5 and Church of the Good Shepherd UMC in Lebanon on Oct. 6.
“Every congregation has access to this incredible research engine,” said the Rev. Gordon Hendrickson, conference Coordinator of Congregational Development. “This tool helps you understand and empathize with people who live and work around your church, so you can customize relevant ministries to bless them in the name of Christ.”
Bandy, a widely sought-after expert in church leadership and strategy development, will teach all four workshops. A lecturer, prolific author, consultant and coach, he has created planning tools to help churches benefit from MissionInsite’s targeted research in adapting their ministry endeavors.
Bandy’s two latest books–See, Know and Serve the People within Your Reach and Worship Ways for the People within Your Reach–suggest ways to understand and engage demographic trends and population lifestyles in planning for strategic ministry, including worship design and discipleship nurture. All participants are encouraged to read both books–published by Cokesbury’s Abingdon Press–prior to the workshops.
Two of the workshops will be broadcast by live-stream video: the Oct. 5 evening session at New Hanover UMC; and the Oct. 6 session at the conference center, which is a closed session restricted to persons invited by district superintendents. Capacity at the conference center is limited to under 30 persons.
The cost for attending any of the workshops is $50 per church team. Register by Sept. 26, by contacting Hendrickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Coleman, Eastern PA Conference Communications Director