Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report
FaithX now offers two resources to explore missional opportunities in the neighborhoods your congregation serves. The Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report (NMIR), described in this article, and our Missional Assessment, which offers a strategic congregation-community consultation. Think of the difference between the Report and the Assessment as the difference between taking a “selfie” and sitting for a portrait. The subject in each is not you, but your community, and both are much more detailed than you might expect.
The NMIR is a 4-page interactive, infographic report that describes more than 40 key population and neighborhood demographic metrics about the people living within a 15-minute drive from a selected congregation or location and the characteristics and challenges of their neighborhoods. It allows you to explore your congregation’s neighborhoods through several lenses and multiple study area boundaries:
- DriveTime Analysis: Most useful. Typically 15 min (Membership Area) and 5 min (Ministry Area) boundaries.*
- WalkTime Analysis: Especially useful in an urban area. Typically 15-min and 5-min boundaries.
- Radius Analysis: A less useful option, but some people find it helpful.
- Parish, Polygon and Zip Code Boundaries: Also less useful. Available on request. Custom-designed and priced.
*Research has demonstrated that DriveTime Analysis is the most useful analysis, as approximately 70% of a congregations membership lays within a 15-min drive of a congregation in all areas (urban, suburban, and rural).
Examples of Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report Findings
NMIR 15-min DriveTime – Page 1: Population Characteristics
NMIR 15-min DriveTime – Page 2: Community Characteristics
NMIRs also display the dominant population segment within the selected DriveTime, with a popup that summarizes the characteristics of the three most dominant segments. A link within the popup takes the user to Missional Context Reports for each segment.
Missional context report – Predominant Lifestyles
NMIR and your budget
The typical cost for a Neighborhood Missional Intelligence Report is $250. With one hour of interpretation, it is $495. If you are a diocese, district, synod or conference that subscribes to MapDash for Faith Communities, you can get your NMIR through them, and if you have the MapDash Exec add-on, your congregations can access their own NMIR directly.
In his 27 years as an ordained priest, entrepreneur and innovator Ken Howard has started two successful congregations. That work, along with congregational redevelopment projects, has fueled his commitment to helping faith communities survive and even thrive in turbulent times. He started FaithX in 2016 to help congregations and dioceses see new possibilities for growth and service by learning about the needs of their neighborhoods and communities. Convinced that data-grounded missional discernment is a vital step to help identify and engage opportunities for mission, he worked with GIS’s Datastory to develop MapDash for Faith Communities, which launched in 2018. In blog posts, journals, academic papers and presentations, Ken shares his thinking on the future of the church and church communities. Married for 43 years, he and his wife Rhee have two adult children, two cats, and a Scottie dog named “Duncan.”
- Big Data and Small Data, by Jeremiah Sierra, an ECF Vital Practices blog, May 4, 2015
- Data-Grounded Discernment for Leadership Transition Planning, by Ken Howard, an ECF Vital Practices blog, August 24, 2021
- Pledge Drive & Plate Offering Analysis Worksheet, by Greg Syler, an ECF Vital Practices tool
- A Snapshot of our Urban Neighborhood Vestry Retreat by Anna Olson, an ECF Vital Practices tool