As pastors we cannot truly do ministry and reach people without knowing where people are at and what they need. And ministry idea needs to be contextualized before it can become effective, and sometimes it is just really hard to know your area, especially in a large city. Here are some sites that can help you better understand your area.
Included are also sites with statistics on all sorts of subjects, from pornography use to religious affiliations by city.
|City Data||noscript=true}}||If you want to know crime rate, average housing cost, educational levels, age, sex, ethnicity, or job types in your area this is the site for you. It has more information that you could shake a stick at, very helpful in understanding your community.|
|Federal Statistics||noscript=true}}||This is the government site that compiles links of all other government statistics. These can be searches by agency, by location, or by topic. A very simple interface but a wealth of information to be found.|
|Pornography Statistics||noscript=true}}||I know we don't like to talk about it, but pornography is a big problem even in the Church. Here is some information and statistics on just how big of a problem it really is.|
|US Census Statistical Abstract||noscript=true}}||This is the yearly summary of statistics gathered by the US government on just about every subject imaginable that affects US citizens other than crime.|
|Adherents.com||noscript=true}}||This site has a great deal of information on religious adherance all over the world and especially in the United States.|
|Association of Religion Data Archives||noscript=true}}||This is an awesome site for information and statistics on most denominations. It also includes statistics of religous affiliation broken down by city.|
|The Barna Group||noscript=true}}||The Barna Group is a Christian survey and research group that regularly posts new studies of interest to American Christians.|
|Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life||noscript=true}}||Probably the largest surveys done on religious trends within America. This is very influential, especially within politics and the media.|
|Pew Internet Study of Faith Online||noscript=false}}||This is an excellent 2004 survey on how people use the internet for faith related purposes.|