Demographic Research and Lifestyle Sensitivity
Demographic research is actually a "progressive lens" through which we understand people. "Pure Demographics" interprets trends in age, gender, ethnicity, marriage and family status, occupation and income, education, etc. "Psychographics" interprets social values, personal attitudes, and community moods. "Lifestyle Portraits" interprets predictable behavioral patterns and preferences. "Heartbursts" explore the sense of urgency we feel to serve or bless a particular public.
See, Know & Serve
The foundational book explaining the use of demographic, psychographic, and lifestyle information for churches. This book provides the summary of all the program filters used in Mission Impact: Commentary on Ministry Expectations of Lifestyle Groups and Segments in
In See, Know & Serve, Tom Bandy demonstrates how our communities and congregations are changing, and how our reliance on ‘best ministry practices’ no longer makes sense. What works in one congregation won’t work the same way in another, because our congregations are so different from one another, and our communities are so diverse. Bandy presents startlingly new ways to view congregations and communities, enabling leaders to understand the people within their reach on a granular level. The author demonstrates with real-world examples how organizations can translate this information into practical strategies and tactics. The book includes helpful charts and diagrams, making the material surprisingly easy to digest and share. This important, groundbreaking and convicting book lays out with depth and clarity a pioneering new way forward for every church and every mission-focused organization. Tom Bandy shows how we can see the people in our communities with unparalleled clarity, so that we can serve them—fulfilling our mission—effectively.
Go deeper into the seven kinds of mission-target worship today. Understand the different theological assumptions, hospitality tactics, worship styles, and worship design strategies for relevant Sunday morning experience. Accelerating diversity of lifestyles has created a crisis for worship designers. One size does not fit all. No worship service can be “blended” to address the complete needs of a congregation. Moreover, church “shopping” is ending as people are choosing a worship service that directly meets their fundamental anxieties about life (regardless of style). Learn to use lifestyle information in worship planning to design a service that truly reaches the people in your community. This book explains why people worship and guides leaders to design relevant worship services that address people's sense of urgency. It is both practical and theological. The decline of worship attendance in all denominations, and across all “traditional” or “contemporary” styles, is reshaping the quest for relevance. Church leaders are turning away from methods to outcomes. People will only participate in worship if it really matters to the fundamental issues that they face.
"A very important book for anyone planning or leading worship. Our worship teams will be reading it." - Adam Hamilton
"A valuable resource for those who plan worship and those wanting to connect with the people God has given them in their communities. An essential guide for those who care about both." - Lovett Weems Jr., Wesley Theological Seminary
Go deeper into the eight identities and functions of Spiritual leadership today. Understand the motivations that drive the quest for God among lifestyle segments, the different identities of the leaders with whom they connect, and the different ways they function in the transition from Christendom to Post-Christendom.
The idea that certain kinds of people gravitate toward certain kinds of leaders has been around for a long time. There are exceptions and degrees of commitment, of course. People (as individuals) are complicated and changeable. On the other hand, people (as groups) are remarkably consistent and predictable.
There are patterns. The typical follower of this leader has these characteristics. The typical follower of that leader has those characteristics. Conversely, this group of people tends to look for, believe in, and listen to this kind of leader; and that group of people tends to look for, believe in, and listen to that kind of leader.
There are trends. Certain kinds of people are more responsive to certain kinds of leaders. Certain kinds of leaders seem to be more empathic toward, and understanding of, certain kinds of people. They seem to know some contexts, certain needs, and distinct attitudes better than others. If you follow the career of a leader, you can anticipate who they will gather around them and where they will be most effective.
Bandy shows how this is true for church leaders too and introduces ideas of different types of leaders attracting different groups of followers. Knowing your "type" will help you know who will be attracted to your leadership style.
How to sustain effective ministry and mission. Set aside the strategic plans and learn how to strategically think. Draw a straight line from “Heartbeat” (values and convictions); through “Heart Burst” (community demographic and lifestyle diversity); to “Heart Song” (motivational vision and energy). This book explains and illustrates how to use www.MissionInsite.com to set priorities, evaluate progress, and measure outcomes.
Strategic thinking involves an element of risk. This is because the goal is not only to perfect ongoing programs, but to initiate new ideas and terminate ineffective tactics. The risk of strategic thinking arises because of the changes in the mission field (or community) in which, and toward whom, the church focuses its vision. Demographic research and lifestyle sensitivity are necessary for effective church ministries. Whenever a church fails to track demographic trends and shifting lifestyle expectations, the strategic thinking always stalls. Program improvements and new ideas never go beyond the comfort zones of the members. Ineffective tactics are simply repeated over and over again because the church doesn’t want to offend particular members or financial givers.
In order to go beyond the box to be relevant to the changing community, churches must accept more risk. They must be willing to go beyond the comfort zones of members to improve the effectiveness of programs. They must be willing to risk failure and learn from mistakes by implementing creative new ideas. And they must be willing to stop wasting limited resources of time, talent, and money on sacred cows that no longer drive the church toward its vision.