The first step to knowing your community is meeting community leaders. While building relationships, intentionally make space to learn about their community vision and brainstorm ways your church can help them meet their goals. Find out more about this step on Pathways to Connecting to Your Community.
Assessing, or exegeting, is the second step to knowing your community, as you learn more about local demographics in order to be more effective in ministry. Church planters and missionaries exegete their communities before starting new works, and even established churches can benefit from periodic assessments, which often reveal important needs.
The BCNE recommends the following tools, most of which can be adapted to fit your context.