Referring to Luke chapter 10, Rev. Brian Erickson addressed the 2017 North Alabama Conference saying, “If we are going to love our neighbor as ourselves every church must know who their neighbor is.” He then introduced a tool for church health called MissionInsite that can help congregations get to know their communities better.
MIssionInsite.com is a resource free to North Alabama congregations that provides an accurate picture of the people in your community, as well as, who your neighbor will be in five years based on the latest census data and demographic research available.
In sharing how MissionInsite has helped Trinity UMC in Birmingham (South Central District) with its ministry, Rev. Erickson noted this tool can both help you reach new people and do better ministry with the people you are already reaching. He also shared that a MissionInsite generated map showing the racial divides in their community helped Trinity UMC prayerfully discern to help launch a new multicultural congregation.
He also noted, “Too often we confuse our history in a community with neighbor-knowledge. We think we know where we live and do ministry — and maybe we did once. But anecdotes and stereotypes do not mean you really know the mission field God has placed you in. Churches that last multiple generations at one address must, by necessity, reinvent themselves multiple times. While our address may stay the same our neighborhood does not.”
Watch the full presentation below.
The 2017 North Alabama Conference emphasis was on Church Health – one of the four Conference priorities. Throughout the day on Monday of Annual Conference, Executive Director of Healthy Congregations Rev. Bob Alford was joined by local church leaders to highlight different tools available to help congregations grow healthier. For more information about church health resources contact the Healthy Congregations office at 205-226-7948 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.