What Works for Me… In Discovering the Religious Affiliations in My Community

From Murray Miller (email- pastormumiller@yahoo.com), Pastor of the Broken Bow District (Kansas-Nebraska Conf)–

“One resource that I have found informative regarding religious affiliation is: www.thearda.com. This is the Association of Religion Data Archives and you can do various searches to find out information about your state and county. One search that I do when trying to encourage myself that the fields are “white” for the harvest is to click on “US Congregational Membership”, then click on “Reports” and then browse my county (or if you are in a metro area you can browse that information). For instance, in Buffalo County, NE (where I am from) the unclaimed population is over 15,000 which = over 30% of the county! This does not count the number of people on the church books who do not attend or the attendance of a congregation – though we usually say 50% of the membership actually attends in most situations. Overall, with this search you can find the number of members on church books and the percentage that are unchurched in your area. There is some margin if error, but overall it is very helpful tool in getting a picture of your harvest field.”

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