Grounding Discernment in Data:
Strategic Missional Planning Using GIS Technology and Market Segmentation Data
Howard is an author, strategic missional consultant, church demographer, and church futurist from Germantown, Maryland. Ordained as an Episcopal priest and canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Ken is the founder and executive director of the FaithX Project, a nonprofit consulting and resource development practice serving congregational and judicatory leaders of all faith traditions. He holds a Master of Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary.
Author: Kenneth W. Howard
Title: "Grounding Discernment in Data: Strategic Missional Planning Using GIS Technology and Market Segmentation Data"
Journal: Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry
Journal Issue: Volume 1, Number 2
Date: Fall 2019
Taking Jesus’ call to love our neighbors seriously requires engaging them in the neighborhoods where they live. However, neighborhoods are transforming demographically faster than ever before. If we can help congregations more quickly understand their neighborhoods, there is a much greater likelihood that they will grow to love them as they love themselves. The question before us is, how do we help faith communities and their leaders engage missional opportunities that are emerging from rapid population change? The goal of the FaithX Project is to make it possible for faith communities, their leaders, and the judicatories that support them to employ location intelligence and predictive analytics in order for them to discern emerging missional opportunities. FaithX then helps them to create effective missional strategies for engaging those opportunities by asking four essential questions: What is our neighborhood? Who are our neighbors? What are our neighborhood’s issues and opportunities? What are our neighborhood’s resources?
Keywords: Strategic Missional Planning, GIS Technology, Market Segmentation Data, Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Missional Intelligence, Predictive Analytics
More From the Author:
(footnote) Kenneth W. Howard, “Grounding Discernment in Data: Strategic Missional Planning Using GIS Technology and Market Segmentation Data,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 2 (Fall 2019): 310-25, https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.11.
(bibliography) Howard, Kenneth W. “Grounding Discernment in Data: Strategic Missional Planning Using GIS Technology and Market Segmentation Data,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 2 (Fall 2019): 310-25. https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.11.
Howard, Kenneth W. “Grounding Discernment in Data: Strategic Missional Planning Using GIS Technology and Market Segmentation Data.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, vol. 1, no. 2, Fall 2019, doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.11, pp. 310-25.
Howard, K. W. (2019). Grounding Discernment in Data: Strategic Missional Planning Using GIS Technology and Market Segmentation Data. Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, 1(2), 310-325. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.11.
Bailey, Patricia Hill, and Stephen Tilley. “Storytelling and the Interpretation of Meaning in Qualitative Research.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 38, no. 6 (2002): 574‒83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2648.2000.02224.x.
Barna Group. 2015 Sees Sharp Rise in Post-Christian Population. Ventura, CA: Barna Group, 2015. https://www.barna.com/research/2015-sees-sharp-rise-in-post-christian-population/.
Batson, C. Daniel. “Rational Processing or Rationalization? The Effect of Disconfirming Information on a Stated Religious Belief.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 32, no. 1 (July 1975): 176‒84. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0076771.
Cortright, Joseph, and Dillon Mahmoudi. Neighborhood Change, 1970 to 2010: Transition and Growth in Urban High Poverty Neighborhoods. Portland, OR: Impresa Consulting, 2014.
Dougherty, Kevin D. “Church Commuting.” In American Values, Mental Health, and Using Technology in the Age of Trump: Findings from the Baylor Religion Survey, Wave 5, edited by Paul, Jeremy Uecker, Kenneth Vaughan, Jerry Park, James Davidson, Andrew Whitehead, and Bob Thomson, 55‒56. Waco, TX: Baylor University, September 2017. www.baylor.edu/baylorreligionsurvey/doc.php/292546.pdf.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, 2019. https://www.ucrdatatool.gov/.
Festinger, Leon, Henry W. Riecken, and Stanley Schachter. “When Prophecy Fails.” In Extending Psychological Frontiers: Selected Works of Leon Festinger, edited by Stanley Schachter and Michael Gazzaniga, 258‒69. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1989.
Greenberg, Leslie S. “Research on the Process of Change.” Psychotherapy Research 1, no. 1 (2008): 3‒16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10503309112331334011.
Howard, Kenneth W. “Congregational Vitality Assessment: A Free Tool for Determining the Health and Sustainability of Faith Communities.” FaithX Project. December 7, 2017. https://faithx.net/congregational-vitality-assessment-free-tool-determining-health-sustainability-faith-communities/.
Howard, Kenneth W. “MapDash for Faith Communities – Version 2.0.” The FaithX Project. Accessed July 27, 2019. https://faithx.net/datastoryfx/.
Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1962. doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226458106.001.0001.
Mercier, Hugo. “Confirmation Bias – Myside Bias.” In Cognitive Illusions: Intriguing Phenomena in Judgement, Thinking and Memory. 2nd ed, edited by Rüdiger Pohl, 99‒114. London: Psychology Press, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315696935.
Merino, Stephen M. “Religious Involvement and Bridging Social Ties: The Role of Congregational Participation.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 2 (Fall 2019): 291‒308. https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.10.
Montoya, R. Matthew, Robert S. Horton, and Jeffrey Kirchner. “Is Actual Similarity Necessary for Attraction? A Meta-Analysis of Actual and Perceived Similarity.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 25, no. 6 (2008): 889‒922. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0265407508096700.
Moore, Mark. “Theology as a Science: An Historical and Linguistic Approach.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 2 (Fall 2019): 241‒50. http://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.07.
Moorthy, K. Sridhar. “Market Segmentation, Self-Selection, and Product Line Design.” Marketing Science 3, no. 4 (1984): 288‒307. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.3.4.288.
Peters, Jeffrey. “Using Science to Find the Faithful.” WhereNext. April 9, 2019. https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/publications/wherenext/science-finds-faithful/.
Rennhoff, Adam D., and Mark F. Owens. “Competition and the Strategic Choices of Churches.” American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 4, no. 3 (2012): 152‒70. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1928164.
Scopelliti, Irene, Carey K. Morewedge, Erin McCormick, H. Lauren Min, Sophie Lebrecht, and Karim S. Kassam. “Bias Blind Spot: Structure, Measurement, and Consequences.” Management Science 61, no. 10 (2015): 2468‒86, https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.2096.
Slade, Darren M. “Religious Homophily and Biblicism: A Theory of Conservative Church Fragmentation.” The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 9, no. 1 (2019): 13‒28. http://dx.doi.org/10.18848/2154-8633/cgp/v09i01/13-28.
Smith, Gregory. America’s Changing Religious Landscape: Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, May 12, 2015. Accessed April 3, 2019. pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/.