Greetings Valley Ridge District,

PHASE 2: RESEARCH (1-2 months)

In my last email (linked HERE), I discussed assembling a strategic team and defining the “purpose” of the church. Once the team is assembled and the “Why?” questions are complete, it’s important to do research as to what’s happening around the church. Some simple steps here are:

1.      VISIT those in the neighborhoods around the church. At Thrasher Memorial UMC, the Pastor is leading a team to visit homes around the church and collate data based on questions they ask. At Windsor Hills UMC, their strategic planning team has gone out to businesses around the church to inquire how the church can help them. 

2.     MEET with various community leaders, such as the planning commission to inquire about future nearby development, or law enforcement to discuss the role the church can play in improving community safety.

3.     RESEARCH demographics through the use of MissionInsite, an online tool that provides detailed information about the future population composition with a radius of your church. In order to serve our communities with the right focus, we need to know who lives around us and what their needs are.

Rev. Dr. Dale C. White

Director of Congregational Excellence

Valley Ridge District, Virginia Annual Conference, United Methodist Church

[email protected]