The Guaranteed Way of Finding Out Who Lives in Your Community

Back in the day it was more challenging to find out the official demographics of who lived in your community.  It usually involved a trip to the library, a large table and time spent with the latest census report.  These days you can click and access this information on most city websites.  For the church planter or local church Pastor this ready at your finger tips knowledge is invaluable. a-guaranteed-way

However, let me propose a guaranteed yet albeit unscientific method that I believe is extremely accurate in assessing who truly lives in your community.

The Guaranteed Way of Finding Out Who Lives in Your Community

Go to the grocery store!!!!  Yes, it’s that simple.

Everyone has to eat and after a busy of week of commuting, doing homework, taking the kids to dance, piano etc, (because too many parents have their kids over programmed). Saturday is the day of catching up and preparing to fight the week ahead.

Here’s your assignment if you choose to accept it.

1) Head to your local grocery store this Saturday morning.

The psychology of shopping places the produce department at the front entrance of the store so park yourself by the apples. As you pretend to investigate the difference between the gala, spartan, courtland and golden apples keep an eye out as to how walks through the door. Once you feel like you’ve exhausted this vantage point and the staff is giving you weird looks move on to your next location.

2) Go to the international aisle

Take advantage of the research the grocery chain has spent on demographics. For instance, 12 years ago our International aisle was very small but over the years it has expanded greatly. Where are the products from? The Caribbean? South Asia? Latin America? This will give you a hint as to who shops in your town.

3) Go To More Than One Store

Visit the store with the concrete floor with boxes stacked up the front window. Then take a drive and visit the store with the wonderfully tiled floor and the bakery which pumps out fresh product all day. This will make sure you cover all social and economic situations in your town.

4) Ask This Question

Is the makeup of the crowd I see on Saturday the same as I see on Sunday? Hopefully the answer will be “Yes it is.” But don’t beat yourself up if the answer is “no”. No matter where we are in this journey of reaching our community there is still work to do. But know that you are armed with this information what are you going to do about it?

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Photo credit: code poet via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Written by Peter Walters

Peter is Connections & Pastor Care Pastor at Brooklin Village Church, just outside Toronto, Canada. He has been married to his wonderful wife Sarah for 25 years and they have two children.