El Monte Community Assessment. A report by Elder Monte Sahlin Center for Creative Ministry August 2011

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1 El Monte Community Assessment A report by Elder Monte Sahlin Center for Creative Ministry August

2 Who is Monte Sahlin? An ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister for 40 years who has done assessments of more than 1,000 local churches. He is currently employed by the Ohio Conference after spending two decades at the General Conference and union conference directing research and development. He teaches in the Doctor of Ministry program at Andrews University and the urban studies program at Eastern University. He is the author of 20 books, 75 research monographs and many articles. 2

3 Goals of this Study Profile the demographics and religion of El Monte, California. Provide a community needs assessment. Put information on the table for planning and mission strategy development for the El Monte Seventh-day Adventist Church. 3

4 El Monte as a Mission Field A suburb of Los Angeles 120,000 residents in 30,000 households Los Angeles County has one Adventist for every 196 residents For the entire USA it is 1 to 305 New Guinea: 1 to 25 Zambia: 1 to 22 Jamaica: 1 to 14 Belize: 1 to 10 Antigua: 1 to 8 4

5 El Monte 5

6 Who are the people living in this community? 16 other segments 7% Lifestyle Segments Young Families 31% Struggling Hispanic Households 62% 6

7 Struggling Hispanic Households 62% Low incomes; large families with many children and stay-at-home moms; mostly under 35 and most adults are high school dropouts. Key needs: Concern about gangs, getting education, day-to-day financial worries, finding a good church, teen/child problems and affordable housing. Involvement in religion is average with greater numbers interested in Pentecostals, JWs and Mormons. Want a church that offers 12-step program, sports and camping, counseling services, and contemporary music. 7

8 Young Families 31% Includes all ethnic groups, but primarily white; adults under 40 with many children; incomes a little above average; large numbers of military families and Blue Collar workers. Key needs: Concern about gangs, parenting skills, finding spiritual teaching, teen/child problems, adequate food and day-to-day financial worries. High involvement in religion; especially interested in Mormon, non-denominational and Holiness churches. Prefer a church with family ministries, youth group, and a Christian school. 8

9 Black lines are boundaries of study area. Dark Blue = Struggling Hispanic Households Yellow = Young Families Green = Middleaged and retired people Light Blue & Red = Suburban middle class families outside the study area 9

10 Population Growth 128, , , ,894 El Monte is growing slowly at less than one percent a year * *Data for 2015 is projected. 10

11 Age Groups 30.8% 26% 9.4% 6.8% 7.6% 12% El Monte National Under 5 Under 18 Age 65 and older This community has significantly more children and fewer senior citizens than the typical American community. 11

12 Ethnic Minorities 72.8% 21.5% 4.3% 0.4% 12.3% 14.5% El Monte National Asian Black Hispanic Whites are a definite minority in this community at only 5% of the total population. 12

13 Immigrants 83.7% 52.4% 12.5% 19.6% El Monte National Foreign born Speak another language at home 13

14 Housing 67.1% 59.3% 40.7% 32.9% El Monte National Owner-occupied Renter-occupied 14

15 Education 43.6% 49.6% 27.4% El Monte National 10.4% Secondary diploma College degree 15

16 Married 47.9% 52.2% 46.9% 48.2% El Monte National Men Women Half of the adult population in this area is made up of single adults, which means that singles ministry is vitally important to the mission of the church. 16

17 Special Needs 22.1% 19.3% 10.1% El Monte National 2.5% Disabled Veterans 17

18 Median Household Income $52,599 $34,202 $42,257 $43,094 El Monte National Almost everyone who lives in El Monte is from a low-income family. The exceptions would be a few older residents, a few single adults who have relatively higher incomes because they do not have spouses or children, and a few young families with two breadwinners or couples with some education and better-paying jobs. 18

19 Occupations Management & Professional 11% Blue collar workers 52% Office & sales 26% Service workers 16% 19

20 Poverty 21% 18.3% 13.2% 9.6% El Monte National Individuals below poverty line Families below poverty line The poverty line is currently $17,500 annual income for a family of four. This is an extremely low threshold considering the actual cost of rent, groceries, utilities, etc., in the Los Angeles area. 20

21 Unemployment in Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 11.7% 12.9% 9.4% 6.3% 6.3% 5.2% 5.4% 5.5% 6.2% 4.6% 4.7% 4.4% Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 21

22 Cost of Housing $1,868 $1,486 $1,072 $651 El Monte National Median monthly mortgage Median monthly rent/lease The cost of housing in El Monte is very high for a community with relatively low incomes. 22

23 Religious Preferences of Local Residents Other 11% No religion 24% Evangelical 29% Protestant 16% Catholic 20% Protestant = Mainline Protestant (Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbyterian, etc.) Evangelical = Conservative Protestant (Baptist, Nazarene, Adventist, etc.) 23

24 Religious Involvement of Local Residents 44% 30% 35% 25% 30% 35% El Monte National Strongly involved Somewhat involved Not involved 24

25 Change in Religious Involvement of Residents 18% 20% 23% 24% El Monte National Increased involvement in last 10 years Decreased involvement in last 10 years 25

26 Blue line = boundaries of El Monte Zip Codes 26

27 Purple line = boundaries of El Monte Zip Codes 27

28 Beliefs about God 85% 85% 69% 64% El Monte National There is a God God is active 28

29 Social Values 89% 91% 89% 83% El Monte National Preserve traditional family values Environment is a national crisis 29

30 Community Services 62% 50% 74% 63% El Monte National Government should provide Churches should provide 30

31 Ethnic Change 44% 36% 34% 36% El Monte National America should open the doors it is a threat to our heritage 31

32 Top Needs in the Community 45% Achieving financial security 37% Neighborhood crime & safety 35% Day-to-day financial worries 34% Maintaining personal health 28% Concern about gangs 25% Dealing with child/teen problems 24% Finding good schools 22% Dealing with stress 21% Finding health insurance 20% Finding time for recreation 32

33 Purple line = Boundaries of El Monte Zip Codes Health outreach of the traditional kind (health education) may not be a good idea in El Monte. All of the households within the boundaries of El Monte have a need for health promotion that is below the national average. 33

34 Percent of households in which finding a job or finding a better job is a major concern: Purple line = Boundaries of El Monte Zip Codes There is a real need for programs such as a support group for the unemployed and job seekers. The percentage of households where someone is looking for a job or a better job is above the national average throughout El Monte. 34

35 Needs in the Community 2 19% Affordable housing 19% Better quality health care 19% Finding friendship 18% Finding a job 17% Achieving a fulfilling marriage 17% Dealing with substance abuse 17% Dealing with ethnic prejudice 35

36 More Needs in the Community 3 15% Domestic violence & abuse 15% Finding a satisfying job/career 15% Dealing with social injustice 14% Developing parenting skills 14% Finding a good church 13% Problems in the schools 13% Finding retirement opportunities 12% Care for aging parents 12% Finding spiritual teaching 36

37 Low-priority Community Needs 10% Finding direction in life 10% Providing adequate food 10% Obtaining an education 9% Finding child care 4% Dealing with divorce 37

38 Church Programs People Want 40% Bible study & prayer group 34% Family activities & outings 34% Youth activities 23% Family counseling 21% Active retirement program 18% Doctrinal classes 16% Spiritual retreats 15% Care for the terminally ill 14% Marriage enrichment events 38

39 Church Programs People Want 13% The arts, music, drama, etc. 11% Parent training classes 10% Food & clothing resource center 10% Day care for children 7% Sports or camping 7% Church-sponsored school 5% 12-step group 3% Divorce recovery 39

40 Church Program Preferences Index Personal development Social services Spiritual growth Recreation 40

41 Worship Style Preferences 36% 39% 24% 27% 30% 23% 10% 11% Emotionally uplifting Intellectually challenging Both Not interested El Monte National 41

42 Worship Style Continued 27% 26% 28% 27% 33% 27% 20% 13% Traditional formal Contemporary informal Both Not interested El Monte National 42

43 Purple line = Boundaries of El Monte Zip Codes 43

44 Worship Music Preferences 19% 24% 21% 19% 29% 31% 31% 25% Traditional Contemporary Both Not interested El Monte National 44

45 Church Focus 13% 14% 19% 22% 36% 37% 32% 26% Spiritual growth Community service Both Not interested El Monte National 45

46 How I prefer for churches to contact me Direct mail Radio spots Cable TV Newspaper ads Phone for a visit No Yes Door to door Telemarketing 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 46

47 Survey of the General Public in Major Metropolitan Areas Know something inaccurate 12% Know one true fact 7% Know nothing about it 15% Never heard of the Adventist Church 66% Source: Center for Metropolitan Ministry 47

48 Analysis Research has shown that growth in Adventist churches comes from: Community involvement Strong spiritual life Intentionality (goals, planning) Positive atmosphere in the congregation Activities for the unchurched on Sabbath 48

49 The Adventist Paradigm for Outreach & Evangelism Christ s method alone will give true success in reaching people. He mingled with men as one who desired their good, showed sympathy for them and ministered to their needs. He won their confidence. Then, He bade them, Follow me. Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p

50 Christ s Method Community assessment Community visibility Community service Friendship Evangelism Discipleship Program 50

51 Examples of Adventist Churches that are Implementing this Strategy Mount Dora Church, Florida Aldergrove Church, British Columbia Pastor David Jamieson wrote about the growth and development of this church in a DMin dissertation at Andrews Univ. Walk of Faith Fellowship, Cleveland Pastor Kevin Kuehmichel is writing a book about this urban church plant Stillwater Church, Dayton, Ohio A dying church discovered new life! 51

52 Resources One Minute Witness good introduction in 32 pages designed to be handed out to church members Chapter 2 in Adventist Congregations Today contains the research on church growth Mission in Metropolis contains more research, focusing on urban and suburban churches in metropolitan areas Understanding Your Community provides tools for doing a community assessment All are available at 52

53 Discussion Questions How well known and visible is the El Monte Church in the community? What has been done to plow the ground in El Monte through serving the needs of the community? What relationships do church members have in the community that can be a bridge to possible candidates for Bible studies? 53

54 Contact information for Monte Sahlin (800) , Center for Creative Ministry 54

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