Community Profile

Community Profile Purpose Statement

This community profile is an attempt to represent the field of ministry to those our church sees as our neighbors. The information for this profile uses data from a 1, 3 and 5-mile radius of The Hills Church.1 (Our priority is to highlight information that will help give a verbal picture of our community within the total 5 mile radius of the church. The 1-5 mile radius of our church is a patch work of neighborhoods built in the mid-60’s to new subdivisions built as recent as 2021. By comparing information from the 1, 3 and 5-mile radius we are better able describe how diverse our neighborhoods are.

We will use current information from 4 demographic indicators to help better present the make-up of our community. The word “community” used in this profile will refer to the area in the 1–5-mile radius of the church unless otherwise indicated.

We see this profile being helpful to uncover both opportunities and challenges to share the gospel through relevant outreach ministry to our community.
Information from this profile can aide the pastoral team in planning worship that continues to speak to life and spiritual issues most likely faced by people we consider neighbors.

The community profile will help us develop future ministry events and programs based on the needs and life phases being experienced in neighborhoods around our church. We have included a list of Ministry Seed ideas that were discussed in our team meetings.

Information in this profile can be used to understand how we can best keep the community aware of our presence as a welcoming church and in what ways we can provide practical and encouraging resources for them. Overall, our prayer is that this profile will inspire our church to sense both the opportunities and challenges to build relationship bridges...
  • into our community over which we can share Jesus,
  • and bridges over which they can cross to become part of the community of faith at The Hills Church.

Population

Our community within a 5-mile radius has a total population of 255,808 people. The population of both the 3- and 5-mile radius are expected to have significant growth through 2029. This is visually consistent from the new subdivisions, apartment complexes and retail businesses that have been built in the last 5 years primarily to the west and north of the church.

 The 1-mile radius of the church has a current population of 18,679 with a projected moderate growth rate expected through 2029. This too is visually consistent as this area’s housing and commercial center were developed primarily in the 6O’s and 70’s.

Statistics indicate that family households in our community are growing as fast as the population which indicates the increase of population per households is growing from additional children. The two largest life phase groups in our community are the Families & Empty Nesters (25%) in the age range of 35-54 and those in the formal school ages of 5-17 years (20%). The average age of our community is between the ages 30-33. 

Our outreach events to the community support these population statistics. The weeklong VBS Summer Basketball camp for 2018-19 had slightly over 105 children to attend. The largest age groups attending were the 2nd-3rd /4th- 5th graders. Our annual Fall Festival consistently has over 75 adults attending with over 160 young children mostly from within the 3-mile radius. Though both events attract non-church attenders and church attenders we have had just a few families return to visit our church even though follow-up visits were made. We also saw our youth group and AWANA ministry experience growth in the last 2 years. Our pre-Covid19 youth group had 10-15 youth attending and AWANA averaged 25 children attending on Wednesday nights.

A substantial number of Sunday visitors in the last 5 years are persons who first viewed our website. Most of the families that have joined us in covenant membership in the last 5 years live within a 3-mile radius of the church. We have found that follow-up visits to first time visitors are appreciated and important to the families who eventually joined our church.

We rejoice that the Lord is calling people to Himself and using our church to work in His field of harvest. We want to continue to be an evangelistic church through preaching and outreach opportunities.

Race and Ethnic Diversity

We find that the most common demographic that identifies our community is the Hispanic/Latino population make-up of our community (1-mile 75%, 3-mile70%, 5-mile 68%). Because these percentages are not expected to change much in the next 5 years our church must continue to recognize the Hispanic/Latino heritage. Statistics show Spanish is spoken in 48% of homes in the 1-mile radius and 41% in both the 3-to-5-mile radiuses. Many of our regular Sunday morning attenders are bilingual. We find those visiting our church with a Hispanic heritage are bilingual or occasionally uses Spanish words/phrases but are not conversational, and if they have children the children are fluent in English.

We have a Hispanic pastor leading up our Hispanic Department. He is learning English while helping to build bridges into the community. We have identified very few Spanish only speakers in our community. However, our Spanish only Bible studies have grown to have 11 bilingual persons attending of which 2 are Spanish only speakers. Our current blending of English/Spanish songs in worship, occasional sermons in Spanish (translated into English) and the weekly live translation of the Sunday sermons into Spanish are welcoming visuals to visitors that we are a church for our community. We are currently reaching just a small percent of new persons from our community with a Hispanic/Latino background. Our desire is to continue to look for ways to demonstrate our church is a welcoming place where people of all Racial and Ethnic backgrounds can hear the good news of Jesus.

The next 2 highest race/ethnic indicators in our community are White (Non-Hispanic) and Black (Non-Hispanic). The current percent of the White (Non-Hispanic) population is 1-mile 15%, 3-mile18%, and 5-mile 20%. The current percent of the Black (Non-Hispanic) population is 1-mile 7%, 3-mile 8%, 5-mile 8% with little percentage change expected through 2024. The current make-up of our church has a strong representation of the Black, White and Hispanic population in both membership and places of leadership. The unity of our diverse membership as friends and fellow believers is very evident in our congregation.  Christ like love, along with the large number of retired military personnel, has attributed toward the unity and genuine mutual respect we have for each other.
The Hills Church would currently be considered a racially diverse congregation. We are a blend of White, Black, Hispanic/Latino and Asian peoples.  We sense that to be the Church the Lord has called us to be, we must not become racially monolithic in our membership, worship, or ministries, but rather welcome the blending of our diverse heritages. This is leading us to be an English-speaking church that celebrates and recognizes our Racial and Ethnic differences by providing targeted ministries as we recognize the need. The blending of culture is a part of daily life in San Antonio.

Finding more ways to use and promote our cultural diversity will enable us to put more of our community into the hearing distance of the Gospel.

Career and Workforce of our Community

The workforce in our community is closely mixed between white-and blue-collar workers. Household income is projected to continue to increase which is expected with the stable economy of San Antonio. Our experience, both in the church membership and from community visits, is that the community workforce includes a substantial number of jobs related to the military. Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) is the largest employer in the San Antonio metropolitan area with an estimated total of 210,998 direct and indirect employment. JBSA- Lackland is situated within a 5-mile radius of The Hills Church and accounts for a large part of the overall Joint Base San Antonio presences. Many of the families serving in the Armed Forces are reassigned every two to four years. We have found ministry to these families rewarding and helpful as they serve with us while they are here.  However, the military presence has also created a large source of employment for contract workers and retired military personnel who are permanently living and working in the area. Other large employers in our community are Civil Service jobs, Southwest Research Institute, Public Schools services, Medical field, and Santa Rosa Medical Complex which has significant expansion of its facilities starting this year.

Financial Resources of Our Closest Neighbors

The financial resources of our community show very little difference in the three-to-five-mile radius of our church. The average household income in this radius of our community is in the middle-class income range for San Antonio.

The community closest to the church, the 1-mile radius, is more economically diverse because it is older and has experienced greater residential change. Statistically households in the 1-mile radius of the church have the lowest income and 19% of the households are living below poverty level. Yet in the same community we have church members and neighbors who have the income and employment stability of those in the three-to-five-mile radius of the church. The economic needs are greatest in the areas where mobile home parks and apartment complexes offer lower rent and subsidized housing.

The needs in these areas have led us at times to work alongside other Christian organizations to help us minister spiritually and practically to these specific needs. Another way we have responded to the financial needs in our community has been through our annual Thanksgiving Bounty Basket Ministry. For many years we have provided over 100 gift boxes of food for families needing help to have a Thanksgiving meal. We also have a food closet and benevolence fund that help with emergency food needs throughout the year. Scholarships are also provided for all camps and ministries that have a cost. We have recognized in the last several years more barriers to community outreach. Fewer places are allowing us to promote our ministries or to do outreach work in the apartment complexes, mobile home parks and schools that are closest to us, where we feel the greatest needs are.

The Hills Church also considers our private school as a ministry to families. With that in mind and through purposeful planning, our private school has one of the lowest tuitions in our area. Scholarships are given as a part our ministry to help families who want their children to have a Christian education.

The financial and spiritual needs of our closest neighbors are always on our hearts and minds as we prayerfully plan community outreach. Our church has a great desire to welcome and minister to the entire community equally in demonstration of Jesus’ love.

Religious Preferences

The information on religious preferences pertains to those in our community that attend a church to some degree. This data comes from MissionINsite Quadrennium Project, The Religious Insite Report 2017. This information is a separate report from the other information used in our Community Profile. This data shows that the top 4 mainline church denominations being attended by people in our community are Roman Catholic 30%, Southern Baptist 13%, American Baptist/USA 12%, United Methodist 11% and 24% show no denominational preference.  It also states that 64% of our community are not actively involved in any religious congregation or community.

Though this data can be studied in more depth it does indicate that a significant percent of our community is available to be reached out to by our church if we are seen as a community church.

Ministry Seed Ideas

The following are ministry ideas that were discussed during our Community Profile meetings. We included them in brief statements to help generate prayer and planning that will lead to church membership involvement in building bridges to share the Gospel to our very diverse community.
  1. Develop a social media team to maintain and invest in various social media usage to make our presence known.
  2. Use bulk mail out services for events to target areas in our 1, 3, 5 radiuses.
  3. Visitation program can include children ministry workers, youth workers, persons from women and men’s ministries and adult Bible Fellowship Classes.
  4. Use more Spanish in signage and printed material for Church events, Sunday bulletin and in social media outlets.
  5. Work with a non-profit organization to let our church serve as a summer and year-round food pick-up site for children.
  6. Let our church be a Meals-on-Wheels delivery site and encourage our membership to participate as volunteer deliverers.
  7. Start a single women's Bible Class at church. Lead the Bible class in outreach by assisting single women to find available resources specific to their needs i.e., childcare, employment, house and auto repairs.
  8. Men's revival conference. This could be designed with prayerful planning to launch an ongoing men’s ministry.
  9. Form and engage “Life Groups” for Bible studies and shared ministry/community services through life group involvement i.e., (Neighborhood service days, feeding the homeless)
  10. Faith outreach teams (rotation) involving Deacons and all other church ministries.
  11. Contact safety officers in our community to use their resources such as fingerprinting.
  12. Find ways to use the Gym for summer community events.
  13. Summer children’s musical
  14. Start a bus ministry to families, children and senior adults who need transportation.
  15. Update Fall Festival games.

Footnotes

  1. Hills Church-Quickinsite Report - This information resource was provided by the Center for Revitalization at SWBTS through SBTC.