I talk a lot about people group communities or people group pockets forming in cities here in the US. In short, as migration continues around the US, many of these people groups moving to here will find a way to locate in the same areas. They form communities and social circles that will have their own stores, their own markets and restaurants, and often their own schools and worship centers.
“Why do they do that?” That is the regular question I receive when explaining this to people.
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across this neat little website that does a great job of visualizing these people group movements. It is called “Parable of the Polygons.” The website is interactive and attempts to demonstrate how people of like affinity move be around each other. It is part game and part nerdy research.
Play with the website! And as you do, here are a few key insights it demonstrates:
- A small preference in individuals to be around people similar to them makes a big difference when the whole community is concerned.
- Even people who value diversity consolidate into pockets in a bigger setting.
- We need to use these movements of consolidation to our advantage in church planting. These people group pockets are, in many places, concentrated lostness with a similar culture and worldview.