Mission Insite Inspires Cumming First UMC to Invests in Kids

8/21/2017

Rev. Jeff Ross of Cumming First UMC was certain of one thing about the community around the church: "Forsyth County is growing by leaps and bounds." 

Wanting to serve the growing community, Ross took advantage of a Mission Insite training led by Rev. Hyo Kim at the North Georgia Conference Office last fall. Mission Insite is a tool that offers demographics data to help churches engage their community. The tool is available to all North Georgia Conference churches.

Ross used Mission Insite to learn about the people living in a five mile radius of the church. The insights were thorough and eye opening. 

"Our administrative board began meeting once a month to walk through the findings," said Ross. "That became our board meeting." 

One of the predominant taglines to describe community members was: "It's all about the kids." 

And that sentiment applies to church.

"For our neighbors, decisions about church center around the children," said Ross.

That led church leaders to take a look at how they engage children on Sundays. They looked into their worship practices, which including having kids begin worship in the sanctuary, come forward for a children's time, then leave with strangers to walk outside to another building. And the space they were going to wasn't great. 

"We had it a little backward," said Ross. "We have a great space for adults and thought, 'the kids will make do.'"

So the church has invested in a brand new children's space and a state-of-the-art security system in the nursery and children's areas. They made changes to worship, as well. 

"Mission Insite helped us look in the mirror," said Ross. "One part of this that is helpful to me as a pastor is that it wasn't me saying, 'here's what I think.' We looked at the demographics data and the church took it seriously. It was data they trusted. It resonated." 

The church plans to unveil the changes September 10. 

"After the fall, I'd like to see us grow from 60 children on Sundays to 80, 90, or 100 children," said Ross. 

The North Georgia Conference is offering three Mission Insite trainings this fall. Find more about Mission Insite or register for a training at http://www.ngumc.org/missioninsitedemographics.

Related

Thanks to Your Giving: Valuable Demographics Info Available to North Georgia United Methodist Churches 
Three Mission Insite Trainings Scheduled for Fall 2017 


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