Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Know Your City, Part 2

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Previously we discussed the importance of knowing your city for church planting and ministry success. Below are some practical ways to start on that journey if you haven't already:

  1. Think of your City in Spheres: Government, Business, Entertainment, etc. Then ask yourself how well you understand the specifics of each sphere. Work on the areas where you draw a blank.
  2. Go Where People Are: One of the best ways to know your city is to go where the people are and get to know them. Perhaps that includes a pool hall, comedy club, museum, coffee house, restaurant, or bar. Figure out where your target demographic hangs out and join them there. 
  3. Network in Real Life: This means going beyond Facebook and Twitter.  Join the Chamber of Commerce or Rotary. Have a small business? There are lots of networks that meet regularly for small business networking. Are you into organic living? Go to the same farmer's market every week. You could even go old-school style and join a bowling league.
  4. Get Outside: Take walks and bike rides. Sit on your front porch or in your front yard. Let an afternoon or evening pass by on the porch of a local cafe'. Chances are if you're outside in your community you'll have more opportunities to interact with people and thus get to know your city better.
  5. Ask Questions & Listen: People like to talk. I've found in most situations if you listen long enough folks will tell you why they believe the way they do, are opposed to the church, and have so much pain in their life. If you ask questions be sure you listen intently and are ready for the hard answers.
Do you have any tips for getting to know your city? What has worked for you?

(Be sure to read the first post about knowing your city here.)

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