This is a great chapter that encourages me, hopefully enough to move me to action, to really know my community better. I’ll just hit bullets because this is a long chapter, but, more importantly, should be read by anyone wanting to do this. But the bullets are valuable.
Confirm God’s call upon Your Life
Fall in Love with the People
Die to Yourself and Your Preferences (that’s really hard)
Examine Your Leadership Readiness
Get Counselors from the Context
Identify Natural Barriers of Your Community
Review the Census Information
Study Demographic Information
Talk to the Experts
Move Beyond Demographics and Anecdotal Conversations (Get in the community and get a “feel” for it)
Do Prayer Walks
Identify Spiritual Strongholds
Review the History; Become the Expert
Understanding Networks (who influences the people God has called you to reach? Connect in those networks)
Understanding Where God is Working in Churches and in Cultures
Find All the Churches in Your Area and Map Them Out
Research Indigenous Churches
Determine Their Musical Preferences
Determine Their Dress
Determine Their Leadership Systems
Determine How They Learn
Identify People Groups in the Area that Are Within Your Mission Context
Breaking the Code Challenge
1. What specific passages of Scripture has God used to confirm and shape your calling to break the code?
2. How can you cultivate a love relationship with your community?
3. Describe the culture to which you are called to minister in terms of music, dress, leadership style, learning approaches, how people relate, etc…
4. Describe the culture within the church you need to create in order to effectively reach your community.