Even before their May 1, 2017 groundbreaking, Lord of Life Lutheran Church had a waiting list for the congregation’s new Early Childhood Center in Elkhorn, Nebraska. Lord of Life could see families building homes and elementary schools under construction. But they were unsure how best to connect with these new people and share the Gospel.

Through an LCEF demographics study, Rev. David Linkugel, Lord of Life’s pastor, says the congregation learned that many newcomers are “young families and daycare is a big community need.” Already a church with strong children’s ministries, the congregation decided to move forward with its vision – to provide the best early childhood education and care that shares the love of Jesus.

What is a demographics study?

Demographic studies have been around for ages. Ancient Greece, Rome, India and China all participated in some shape or form of one. Of course, the modern demographic study looks nothing like those ancient attempts. So what does a demographic study look like today? In essence, a demographic study gathers information about the characteristics of a particular population. These characteristics include:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Nationality
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Occupation
  • Family structure

Gathering and evaluating this data can help your church thrive in a very important way.

Why consider a demographic study?

Your community is your mission field. A demographic study can help you understand what is going on in this mission field.Like Rev. Linkugel, it can help you get a feel for how people live and how you and your congregation fit into that missionfield. It’s an opportunity to understand how to reach a certain group of people for Christ. In other words, it’s all aboutcommunity outreach and evangelism. It helps you determine the best opportunities for advancing your ministry.

See, as you consider new mission opportunities, demographic data is an essential part of planning for growth, developingeffective missions and ministry, planting new churches and reaching more people. The data can also help establishedministries monitor changes in their communities and share their stories with those around them.

For more information about demographics and how Lutheran Church Extension Fund can help your congregation with ministry planning, please call Nebraska District LCEF vice-president Nathan Meier at 913-221-8999 or email nate.meier@lcef.org.