Attempting to enter a culture that is not your own is alot like running the white water rapids: It will be bumpy, exhilarating and emotionally thrashing.
You might have assumptions concerning a people group, but doing the actual legwork will either verify your instincts or lead you in a completely different direction. Either way, you will end up gaining additional confidence that you are better equipped.
A fly fisherman will look at local insects before determine what he will present to wary river trout. Learn from him.
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Mke the survey short.
People in a public setting will not take a long time. We generally were positioned at a crosswalk where passers-by needed to wait for the light to turn. When they were given a signal, they were gone.
You are gaining information, not evangelizing.
Do not mixed your responsibilities. You are asking for information, not leading them on a rhetorical journey towards conversion. Stay focussed and get information that will position you to shape environments and gain opportunities in the future.
Address felt needs.
Not philisophical interests.
Use multiple choice.
Using this method allows you to check a quick box, rather than write out an answer. Economize in time.
You will want answers. If they are allowed to answer as to their insights about a segment of society, they are more likely to give their opinion. If you ask them why they feel certain ways, they are most likely have not analyzed their motives.
What is the greatest struggle of people in our city: Finances/Debt, Jobs security, Stress, Criminality, Lonliness, Family fighting, Education, Time Management
How much free time does a typical parent (in your target group) have per day: two hours, three, four, five. etc.
What do (people in your target group) do to relax and rebuild energy: Sports, Television, Visit friends, Music, Bike, Sleep, Etc.
How many times per year do (people in your target group) attend church: Weekly, Monthly, Events, Annually.
How many times per week do (people in your target group) meet with friends: one, two, three, four, etc
Which word best describes people (in your target group) in this city: hopeful, depressed, busy, outgoing, anxious, happy, fulfilled, dysfunctional, etc.
Note general info about your responder.
You might want to consider noting gender, general age, etc. That way you can begin to see trends within generational categories.
Tomorrow: One further source of information at your fingertips.