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Church Planting Investigation for the town of Uniondale

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Introduction

Church planting is one of the most essential missions that the church needs to accomplish. However, despite the call to go and make disciples of all nations, church planting is not something that should be done without prior studies, research and “market” analysis. The Bible clearly states that “he who fails to plan, plan to fail”.In lieu with this, it can be said that in order to accomplish a victory and success in church planting mission, there is a need to know and answer the following questions: What? Where? When? Why? How?

Anyone can plant a church anywhere. However, there is no guarantee that such activity will succeed. The first thing that must be considered in going out to the field is to conduct a research on the demographics of the target town or area for church planting. It is important to know whether or not the probability of getting membership for the church will boom once the mission is completed. In addition, it is important to note that the church status is twice as important as that of knowing the demographics. It cannot be denied that in as far as church planting is concern, there have been many successful attempts of establishing churches in various location. Hence, it is but proper to know the status of the churches that might have been in existence to the target place for a certain period of time.  The community needs are also one thing that has to be considered. It is a known fact that when people got nothing and no one to turn, they start turning to the churches. But then again, the question is: does the church know the needs of the community? The approach must be holistic in order to ensure that the purpose of church planting is not defeated.

This paper will define the aforementioned factors in the quest to fulfill a church planting investigation in the town of Uniondale, New York.

Demographics

As far as the 2000 census is concerned, the total population of Uniondale New York is about 23, 011. However, it is expected to increase gradually in number in a few years and would probably continue to grow with the effort of the town to attract more residents. Studies have shown that the population density of the town is about 8,676.5 for every square mile. The number is good enough to target members for a church. The most interesting part of the Uniondale demographic though is the fact that just like any other big cities and town in the whole of United States of America, the town of Uniondale is comprised of many races. As a matter of fact, there is 9.95%  of other races that are living in the town. However, the predominant group of people that are residing in Uniondale are African-Americans with about 55.53% rate of population. Apparently, there is only about 0.35% of Native Americans in the area while there is about 2.10% of Asians that have moved in the place.

The size of the population is important for every church planters. The main goal of church planting is to reach out to people and let them know the gospel. People need to hear and see. The church is all about people. However, it is not for the believers. But rather for those who have not yet heard and have yet to believe.  The church members need to go out, reach out and talk to people into coming to the gospel being preached. With this, it cannot be denied that a considerable amount of population is necessary in order to plant a church. In that way, the resources, effort and the time that the church people are spending over the desire and the mission to plant a church will not all go to waste. The population of Uniondale New York is just about the right amount of percentage of people needed to push through with church planting.

The potential of being able to succeed in church planting with good demographics and population is high when there are lots of people in the targeted area because of the numbers of leaders. Church planting is a good thing to do especially if there are many people that have the potentialities to grow as leaders and whose influence in the society, social groups and community is intense. Church is much more attractive to youths than the adults who have their own life to attend to and to be busy with. Uniondale New York has a school facility where the younger generations go. Hence, once a church planting activity starts it will be easier to get to people who will ministers and individuals who would want to take part in the activity.

Church Status

The social development of New York City has been characterized by a succession of such religious movements of protest. At no time has the religious organization of the American community been wholly stable. The large religious denominations have struggled to secure a dominant position. Some of them have enjoyed the protection and assistance of the state. All of them have had the support of powerful economic and social interests. But in spite of such advantages they have never been able to maintain an undisputed control over the ministration of religious services. Disruption and schism have been more characteristic of the Protestant than of the Roman Catholic Church--and the concern of this study is almost wholly with the former--but neither has escaped movements wreaking havoc upon denominational unity; the chief difference has been that the one Church has tended to cry up, the other to cry down, the effects of religious division. This is particularly true when Christian churches aside from the Roman Catholic has started to flourish in relation to church planting activities.

Throughout the development of the United States of America, from the early settlement of New France to the present day, undercurrents of unrest in religious organization have found expression in the break from established religious authority and in the emergence  of new religious forms. The movement towards separation has constituted a powerful force in resisting any effort to build up in the country a system of ecclesiastical control. The conflict between forces of order and separation is fundamental in religious development. It is the conflict between the church and the sect forms of religious organization. The church seeks the accommodation of religious organization to the community; the welfare of society is something for which it feels responsible. The sect emphasizes the exclusiveness of religious organization; the worldly society is something evil of no concern to the spiritually minded. While no sharp line can be drawn between the two forms of religious organization (the church always contains some of the attributes of the sect while the sect is never "pure," completely other-worldly in character), within the church the spirit of accommodation tends to dominate, within the sect the spirit of separation. It is the difference in outlook, in attitude of mind, which is so important in setting the one off from the other.

The view set forth here is that the church has been dependent upon a condition of social stability and when such a condition has not been present it has given way to the sect form of religious organization. Thus developments in religious organization, on the one side, in the direction of greater order and union and, on the other side, in the direction of disorder and separation, have been closely related to movements of social order and disorder in the wider community.  Hence, more churches came into existence. But in Uniondale, there are only about 7 Christian churches that are noted.

Despite the growing needs for churches in the communities and town in New York, the Uniondale has only about 7 Christian churches that are operational as of this writing. The church has grown out of the conditions of a mature society; the sect has been a product of what might be called frontier conditions of social life. Within the broad pattern of the social development of New York, the persistent conflict between these two forms of religious organization takes on meaning. The problem though is the fact that many people do not attend church.

The Community Needs a Church for the following reasons:

The question--What is the social condition of youth in our time?--has never been more urgent. Because the survival of the next generation lies in the capacity of a society to sacrifice time and energy in a spirit of charity, not only for their own family or generation, but for generations to follow, most societies demand a dutiful commitment to the young. Ours may be among the first of modern societies to withdraw from this collective obligation. Instead of resolving chronic social problems of race, poverty, violence, child abuse, war, and other destructions, ours is an age of crisis, much of  it invisible--neither publicly acknowledged nor privately examined. At the trivial level, we hear people speaking of their identity crisis, midlife crisis, job crisis, and crises in their families. Often, what is taken for the crisis are really temporary indispositions, psychological shifts or transitions to a different status group (e.g., midlife crisis). The systemic problem that generated the crisis in the first place tends to be ignored (e.g., ageism, corporate oligopolies, addictions, violence in the family, and others). The media succeed in generating situations that "identify, substantiate, bypass or create crisis". Hence, making it more complicated for the youth to cope.

But such media events are short-lived, and have relatively little impact on stabilizing the system or of generating new initiatives to solve the crisis. At this juncture, it seems only too apparent that democratic principles and spiritually informed policies of care and concern for others have been severely eroded; some would say that they have been erased altogether. In their place are mega corporations, big politics, and centralized media that not only control information but also shape our very existences on a daily basis. The siege mentality of our cities continues uninterrupted by political shifts in mayors or parties; the savage inequalities of income and opportunities contribute to virtual wholesale exclusion from mainstream society millions of persons because they are young, old, poor, illiterate, disabled, displaced, and discarded. we have a food crisis, ecological crisis, health crisis, an education crisis, an economic crisis, a crisis of political legitimacy, an immigrant crisis, a crisis of violence, a crisis for survival, and significantly, a crisis in common understandings. In the United States, all these crises exist simultaneously but definitely do not impact equally on the population. Children and adolescents are most likely to be adversely affected by these interconnected crises 

because of their greater vulnerability, dependency, and little or no coping skills (depending upon their age and circumstances). The youth crisis assumes many forms. These range from the personal to the global, from the specific to the general, and from the material to the symbolic levels. To speak of any youth crisis, say, gangs or homelessness, is to confront an array of interconnected crises, stemming from what the sociologist recognizes as "structural" arrangements: gender, race, culture of violence, poverty, ethnicity, and other divisive features that are an every- day, hence unnoticed, state of affairs. The important feature of the contemporary crisis is that much of it is invisible. The invisible crisis implies that for many Americans it lurks beneath the surface of our everyday lives. If Caucasian, we are not conscious of racism until our daughter, for example, marries an African American, and we observe firsthand the everyday humiliations and fear that our loved one faces at the job or on the street. All these responses are a normal part of race relations in this country. In our middle class cocoons, we rarely confront the hazards of the single mother unless she works for us and must absent herself because of a sick child, or who must borrow from next month's pay because her childcare payments are late, or more likely, have stopped altogether. Most Americans are amazed to discover that our city streets are home to nearly two million homeless young persons, thousands of whom must prostitute or steal to stay alive. For example, a Seattle-based study shows that the streets in this city of a half million persons contain over two thou- sand homeless youth; yet shelter space is available for only sixty young people. How many of us consider the implications of the now-standard school policy of expulsion (for weeks or months) for minor infractions that affect thousands of students? How many of us have written our congressperson an outraged letter because of drop-out rates of 50 percent in inner-city schools? At the end of the twentieth century, there is little public protest left; little energy to look beneath the surface of things. As a society, we appear absorbed in our own smallness--too busy, anxious, confused, fearful, angry, and cynical--to address our collective problems. Above all, our current epoch has erased the one quality that bonds human to human, that of compassion.

Compassion--as mother love; as unconditional love; as a feeling of deep sympathy for the young and helpless, or sorrow for another human who The Hebrew word for compassion is derived from the word for womb. Womb love, mother love, and creative love are all part of the power we know. This places compassion as the source for our basic energy force, essentially a connection with self and others. The social-spiritual idea that we are all connected, despite differences in culture, family of origin, class, race, gender, or personal taste, and therefore have obligations to one another, has never been very popular in our highly individualistic society. Today, compassion is a dying virtue. Two thirds of Americans say it is important not to get too involved in the problems of others. You have to take care of yourself first. In an era of "tough love," where people are expected to suffer for their wrongdoing, where children are ostracized and institutionalized for their parents' failures, and where we cross the street to avoid the homeless beggar, love of neighbor does not figure significantly in the social calculus. Ours is a deeply ailing society. Our illness is incivility, which he claims goes far beyond mere impoliteness and goes back much further in time than the blatantly self-centered "me" generation of the 1980s. The morally destructive patterns of self-absorption, callousness, manipulativeness, and materialism, that are so deeply ingrained in our everyday behavior, have become routine ways of being in the world. In multiple ways, we engage in subtle forms of unconscious injury toward ourselves and others--ways that have become accepted as the norm in American society. Compassion did not really expire in one day, nor in one year. Rather it is more like a process, a shift from one level of consciousness to another, which means that it can be revived and reborn. In fact, there is recent evidence of its rebirth in small and large matters: from random acts of kindness by anonymous donors, to the sacrificial efforts of helping individuals in times of crisis or to save the environment, to a presidential summit on renewing volunteerism. The origins for the attack on compassion lie in industrialization and technology, where things, not people, take center stage. Compassion is the ingredient that gives our relationships and work life their ultimate meaning and satisfaction. Its absence creates profound disadvantages and uncertainties with ramifications throughout all our personal and social relationships. Without a sense of deep connection to others, we use people for our temporary convenience or as stepping stones to personal or corporate goals. The incredible "downsizing" efforts by corporations to cut workers and expand profits is part of this dearth of compassion. So is the foster care system that locks children into caregiving systems that are oppressive and loveless. Exploitation, manipulation, indifference, and violence have become commonplace images in the street.In particular, its advocates seek to replace the grand gestures of the Great Society welfare state with a melodrama of the overtaxed and the underemployed, those whose dignity must be restored to them by tax cuts and welfare-to-work programs. If an expanding liberal state used laws and programs to animate the technology of amelioration, the compassionately conservative state wants to limit these mechanisms severely and in particular to shift its economic obligations from redressing poverty to protecting income by taking less from and giving less back to workers and citizens. Compassion can be said to be at the heart of this shrinkage, because the attendant policies relocate the template of justice from the collective condition of specific populations to that of the individual, whose economic sovereignty the state vows to protect. Great Society ideology had presumed that the social realities of privilege did not require individual intentions and practices to contribute directly to inequality. Nor were one's particular experiences deemed authentic evidence of whether undemocratic practices were organizing life. Instead, the Johnson administration argued that unjust inequalities were objective and enabled by state sanction, such that the state must alter its economic, juridical, and bureaucratic rules and practices toward equality while also placing demands on smaller institutions to make the same changes. In contrast, currently reigning Republican thought resituates who the subject of compassionate action ought to be. No longer is the icon of structural damage any member of a historically and structurally subordinated population but rather the working citizen-that is, the person who works for a living, especially for his family's living.

(By “his” I point to the crisis of paternal value that this particular state ideology seeks to ameliorate.) But what happens to those who do not work, do not work steadily, or do not belong to heterosexual nuclear families? The aim of current state policy is to impel these people to work harder and to enter nuclear families, at which point state entitlements will step in to protect their economic interests. What links these zones conceptually is no longer the American Dream of social mobility as such but faith, faith in the highly symbolized, relatively immobile structures of intimate attachment from the family and the nation to God. Faith in such a project of social membership is seen to provide the moral tone of a state and a nation; at the same time, when compassionate action is necessary to alleviate social suffering, it is seen as at best a local response put out by individuals and smaller institutions toward people who live somewhere, sharing an everyday life. The problem of social interdependence is no longer deemed structural but located in the faith that binds to itself a visible, lived-in community.

Conclusion

In this view all occupants of the United States are local: we cultivate compassion for those lacking the foundations for belonging where we live, and where we live is less the United States of promise and progress or rights and resources than it is a community whose fundamental asset is humane recognition. Operating powerfully is a presumption that the local is the same thing as the communal, both experientially and institutionally. This remediation of national life away from the federal state does not blank out the nation but sees patriotism as a feeling of abstract intimacy practiced from the ground up. In asking individuals and local institutions to take up the obligation to ameliorate the suffering that used to be addressed by the state, compassionate.

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