The Church Scouts ministry – communicated through this website – is all about the Twin Cities' spiritual landscape, a specialized service for local pastors and church leaders.
You get detailed information about Twin Cities churches, demographics and culture you can't get anywhere else.
Church Scouts helps individual churches see how they are part of the WHOLE CHURCH of the Twin Cities. Church Scouts facilitates collaboration.
The most practical benefit from Church Scouts is that you get a comprehensive package with all the basic data you need about church growth pulled together, processed, organized, presented visually, and accessed online for quick comprehension by the people who make the decisions.
Data is not very useful as scattered fragments. Data needs to be available as a comprehensive package exactly when and where needed.
This professional-grade online package contains information about current spiritual conditions in the Twin Cities ... tells what's happening in churches around you ... and gives practical helps for adjusting your ministry to the new spiritual environment.
Actually, this is more than just a web site; this is a modern integrated information system.
Your congregation will appreciate that its leaders are well-informed and able to speak with deep understanding – supported by facts and figures – about the constraints and opportunities for the church's future.
Big handicaps for churches are the blind spots of its leaders. What the leaders don't know is usually what's most dangerous.
Churches need an outside perspective to fill in the blind spots and to add breadth and depth of understanding.
Church Scouts are objective observers, constantly looking and reporting, revealing problems and opportunities otherwise not seen.
Churches are steered to a large degree by the telling of anecdotal stories. When a leader wants to make a point, just tell a heart-warming story that supports the point, and that often sways the groups and ends discussion.
There is an implied assumption that the story is representative, but in fact it may be an aberration. Leaders need quantified data to show frequency, magnitude and effect.
Often something that has a positive effect on some people can have a negative effect on an even larger number of other people.
Good stories are wonderful and motivating if supported by facts but misleading if told just to make people feel good or to justify a decision.
Many church leaders make decisions without having full comprehension of the situation within the church and around the church. They are easily influenced by their own biases and the biases of strong and entrenched personalities.
And sometimes leaders are just behind the times in a rapidly changing world.
Data is usually most reliable when generated and analyzed by a trusted outside professional source that has nothing to defend and nothing to gain.
Comprehension of data is greatly enhanced when it is processed into percentages, graphs and trends and then analyzed in comparison with data from other entities, sources and time periods.
Partial facts and misinterpreted facts lead to poor decisions.
Data doesn't do much good if it's in the office filing cabinet at the time and place it's actually needed. In today's world, data needs to be online for maximum efficiency and usefulness.
Operating from memory is dangerous. Printing and distributing by paper is slow and costly.
Today organizations need to have all important data and analysis in one place, instantly accessible from any computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone so that leaders can study anywhere before a decision meeting ... send to others with a click ... and pull up specific facts during a meeting.
Church Scouts makes important information for your church growth instantly available from this site. Even detailed private church information (InsightGraphs), analyzed and graphed, can be seen here at your fingertip with a confidential ID number.
If your church has worship attendance of 200 or more, Church Scouts will give you free analytics and comparative graphs, explained in the InsightGraphs section of this site.
This is a powerful tool that reveals your church from views never before seen and enables you to compare your church side-by-side with other churches for observing strategies and generating new ideas.
Your graphs are instantly accessable, password protected, from this site.
This site puts heavy emphasis upon how Millennials think and act because this is the demographic group that's shaping our churches. Our response to them will determine the future of the Twin Cities church. It's essential to understand them.
The chart below tells the demographic story in the Twin Cities. Average age is now 38. Half of our population is now Millennial and Gen Z.
Christians here are losing ground fast as older generations die off. Churches need to adjust to realities of the new culture.
Most churches are still functioning with Boomer mentality. But now it's a Millennial world. And Gen Z is starting to inject its own influence.
Many church leaders are still working to take us back to the old days when churching was easier, but that won't happen. Not only is it futile, it's counter-productive.
Church Scouts gives valuable information about how to understand, attract and engage Millennials and Gen Z.
To grow, churches must think young!
For the most part, leaders are born, not made. But good leaders need good data. Without complete facts, even the best leaders flounder.
New staff, new board members and other new leaders are rotating in and out of positions constantly. Most don't enter with a depth of understanding of their church and community to make the best decisions on behalf of the church.
Most churches don't have training programs for new leaders. Churches that do have training programs focus almost entirely on doctrinal and spiritual matters – very important! – but do not have resources available for training and equipping new leaders for operational decision-making.
But now, this site (especially if you use InsightGraphs) serves as a recruitment and training program for new leaders in your church. It equips them and brings them up to speed fast!
Many church members run large and successful businesses educational institutions, government agencies and other organizations but are unwilling to serve (at least for long) on church boards because of small thinking and lack of data to guide decisions.
Now watch these people come alive with energy for the church when given access to all the data on this site! This is a treasure trove for innovators, big thinkers and doers!
Church Scouts helps you strengthen your staff, board and council by attracting strong knowledgable people and equips them with the facts, analysis and ideas necessary for making confident decisions.
It is common for leaders firmly entrenched in a church to say that they don't need quantitative analysis – they 'just know' by living in the environment, they feel it, they're in synch with it, they have a depth of understanding that goes beyond what numbers can tell them.
That's true in many respects, but often the perceptions are filtered through layers of personal biases, desires and justifications. And some things these people are not attuned to see at all.
Church leadership is a team effort. Individual team members need statistics and analysis to explain their views to other team members and to facilitate deep discussion.
Church Scouts equips you with the facts and tools you need to make your views understandable and compelling to others.
Team members are often frustrated when they try to make an important point but other team members 'just don't seem to get it.' This usually happens when lacking the kind of quantitative information available on this site.
Agreement usually occurs when the whole team is looking at the same thing at the same time: the same numbers, the same analysis and the same recommendation. The more specific, the better the buy-in.
No church can afford to produce a professional package of materials like this. It would be too labor-intensive and costly, and it would require professional skill sets rarely found in any individual church.
But now Church Scouts gives this package to Twin Cities churches as a ministry, and there is no registration, advertising or solicitation.
The Lord often answers prayer by giving a newer and larger set of facts, for better understanding.
Used by the Holy Spirit, some answers to your prayers might be in information found on pages of this website.
Even facts that are unpleasant may be a blessing if they remove ambivalence and cause a church to embark on a new course of action for the future.
When first getting acquainted with Church Scouts, the first reaction of many people is that this is too good to be true ... there must be a catch ... why would people do this without expecting something in return?
They answer is that all this is really true ... that there's no catch ... that committed Christians who have been blessed with special skills do things like this just to serve the Lord, without remuneration or recognition.
Churches in the Twin Cities will be going through some very turbulent times in the next decade, and these volunteers believe they can help by supplying strategic information and facilitating collaboration.