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Understanding Our Community, Our Congregation and Our "Competition"

Urbana is an affluent bedroom community for DC and Baltimore containing pockets of immigrant families and which includes some families below the poverty level. Natelli is planning a development in Urbana for an over-55 community. What does this mean for church attendance and community involvement? Are there opportunities for growth and service? Understanding the demographics of our community will help us to understand where we may find a niche to serve.

Challenges for Church Attendance

Changes in society with respect to religion?

  • The change in social norms for “Sunday” as the day of rest

  • The change in norm of the church as a respected authority (eg, the recent priest scandals)

  • Self-directed spirituality

Challenges of serving a bedroom community of young families?

  • Tired on weekends after a long weekly commute

  • School events now scheduled on Sundays, etc

Challenges occur at many contact points

  • Getting visitors in the door

  • Getting visitors to feel welcome in the auditorium

  • Getting visitors to return

  • Inspiring visitors to become members

Suggested Reading


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