By the Numbers



I have been involved in Women’s Ministry for over twenty years.  This last month I was challenged with a question that I could not answer.  The question:

What is the demographic of the women in your current church?

Truth be told, I’ve never known this answer about any ministry I have served.  Women’s Ministry.  MOPS.  Drama Ministry.  VBS.

I could answer questions like… average attendance at events.  Why?  Because, I planned those events.

Here are the things I didn’t know:

  • How many women (18+) attend your church?  (Or what percentage of the adult church is female?)
  • What is the percentage of… insert age, race, new vs. seasoned, etc.
  • What is the percentage of… working, stay at home, single, married, etc.
  • What is the percentage of… single mothers, empty nest mothers, widows, etc.
  • What are the economic percentages of the women in your church that you serve?

I also didn’t know these numbers related to the community we serve.

  • What is the percentages of single mothers, homeless women, unemployed women?
  • What is the percentage of homebound, nursing home residents, disabled women?
  • What are the biggest factors that our community faces? (Drugs, homelessness, gambling, unemployment, abuse, etc).

I really had no idea what the numbers and statistics for our area, for my church, were.

How can I serve a community that I don’t understand?  How can I serve a church full of women that I know little about their circumstances?  How can I build a Women’s Ministry program to address the needs of the women in our community… WHEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT THOSE NEEDS ARE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

The crazy part about this, from my perspective, is that everything I have ever been trained to do in the corporate sector focused on these demographics.  Knowing my client, knowing my area, interpreting that date into product acquisition and sales marketing plans, etc.  I KNOW THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

Yet, somehow, I had managed to minimize the importance of knowing this information in relations to ministry work.

Many Women’s Ministries take the summer off or at least slow down a bit.  Use this time to learn more about the women you are serving.  Ask your Pastor for the information.  Or, send a survey to the women in your church.

Survey Monkey is a great service and you can build a survey online with TEN questions for free.  Anything above 10 questions requires a fee.  It also allows your ladies to complete the survey anonymously.  Not everyone is eager to share their personal details to the public.

For information about your community, look to your local community organizations and ministries.  Some may have the information already posted on their website, if not you should be able to get the information via a quick phone call or email.

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