Jan 14, 2013

The Big Secret to Reaching More Kids and Families

If you want to reach more kids and families...you have to go where they live.  Metropolitan areas.

Rural America, which encompasses nearly 75% of the land area of the United States, currently accounts for about 16% of the country's population, the lowest in the nation's history.  In fact, it has been almost a century since people living in rural America outnumbered those who resided in metro areas.  In the past four years, more than 50% of rural counties have seen their population decline.

During the 1990s, people flocked to rural areas to take advantage of the growth in jobs.  But with fewer positions now available, a major incentive to move out of the big city has vanished.  Rural America gained about 2.2 million people between 2000 and 2010, but the growth was about half of the previous decade.

More than a third of 2,051 rural counties experienced what's called a "natural decrease" - where more people are dying than are being born.  Although population growth also slowed in metropolitan regions of the country from the 1990s, the rate last decade was still far greater - 10.8% - than in rural areas.

The main reason young adults leave rural areas is fewer opportunities.  They move to the metropolitan areas for college or a better job opportunity, get married, have children, and do not return to their rural roots.

Don't get me wrong, we need churches to reach kids and families in rural areas.  But at the same time, if you want to reach the masses, then you have to go where they are.

Perhaps you are ministering in a rural setting and have a burning passion to reach more kids and families.  Maybe that stirring is God calling you to a metropolitan area.  What are you waiting for?

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