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Context Guide | Study Guide for the Context Report
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How is the Context Report presented?
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The report is organized into seven sections all of which use Gap Themes, Summary Bars and Narrative Text. A gap theme is simply a piece of information, which can be easily compared between two groups such as the congregation and the community. The narrative text provided underneath the gap theme summarizes some of the key information from the comparison and presents it in a question and answer form. The summary bar highlights the overall comparison in each of the gap themes. The simple table graph on the right side of the page shows some of the actual data figures behind the Gap Theme. The icons can also be helpful guides in reading the graphs. If the icon is a church, it means the response is the church’s. If it is a face, it means the response is the community’s. If both are present, then the data refers to both the church and the community.
The seven sections are:
PART 1: The Community which answers the question, “Who lives in our mission-target area?”
PART 2: The Congregation which answers the question, “Who are the people in our church and what is important to us?”
PART 3: The Comparison which answers the question, “How are we like or different from the community we’re trying to reach?”
NOTE: Part 3 is a comparison between the church and the community and introduces the term “divergence”. The divergence factor simply addresses the question, “How different is the congregation from the community on this response?” or, in Parts 4, 5 and 7 “How much difference is there between our or the community’s assessment and the ideal ?” High divergence means a larger difference in response, followed by moderate and low divergence. Where the two comparisons are about equal it’s listed as “convergent”. In these sections, the gap themes are presented not in numerical order but beginning with the theme or program in which there was the highest divergence (difference) and ending with the lowest divergence or convergence.