Whether you’re planting a church in a community that’s new to you or returning to plant in your home town, you need to be an expert on your community. Here are 5 great ways to use a church plant target area map to help you make a difference in your town.
Free Church Plant Target Area Map
First, the tool: I recommend Google’s My Maps as a great place to create your map. You could always buy a 3-foot map and hang it in your office, but having an online map gives you these advantages:
- it allows you to share it and collaborate with team members
- it’s more forgiving for making changes
- it allows you to create map layers for each of the elements below so that you can turn them on or off to keep the map from getting too cluttered
- you can reference it on your mobile device while you’re out and about
5 Ways to Use Your Map
- Record Demographics – As you get to know your community through demographics reports, civic networking, and plain ‘ol shoe leather, you will find out that each neighborhood has its own personality. Create a Boundaries layer and draw shapes to represent the neighborhoods, label each one, and record important demographics in the notes fields.
- Note Potential Facilities – you can be keeping track of where potential facilities are right here on the map. Create a Facilities layer and add push pins for each potential facility. You could also note physical and psychographic barriers that would discourage people from coming to a particular facility.
- Strategize Outreach – based on the 2 elements above, you will be able to plan or participate in outreach events that will do the most good and focus on the right neighborhood(s).
- Plan Marketing – now that you have the collective history and insight from the first three above, how and where you get the word out about the new church should be informed by your map. If you’re putting out door hangers, you could even use the map to divvy up the streets and/or record where you have already put them out.
- Scout Signage Placement – as your sign team is planning the number and size of signs to be ordered, use the map to consider major intersections, traffic patterns and obvious routes to the facility. Create another layer called Signage and drop pushpins where your signs will be put out each week.
A church plant target area map is a great way to compile everything you’re learning about your community and make smart choices about where to devote your limited time & resources.