Training Well Matters Part 2 ~ Knowing the Current Landscape
What is going on? Really.
It’s a huge question. I encourage you to stop for a minute and ask it. Ok, I know you have asked it, possibly while throwing your hands up in the air after no one signed up for your “church thing.”
So when that happens, do you ask what is going on or do you simply guess and blame and try harder next time? Isn’t that what happens? People don’t show up so we blame ourselves and figure we just haven’t found the right method, curriculum, or gimmick that will attract them. I want to challenge you to stop for a minute.
This time when you ask, “what is going on?” take a deeper look. Take some time to step out of your church box and get out into the community for which you serve. Ask the hard questions about people’s lives, about parents, about kids, about schools, about culture, about the digital world, about crime, about hurts and about joys. Don’t simply guess, really ask these questions.
What if you really understood the landscape where you seek to plant the Gospel? http://bit.ly/2rEwyBy Click To Tweet
What if you took the time to really understand the landscape where you are seeking to plant the Gospel?
What if you cancelled all your programs and took a year to interview people of all ages? What does the soil look like in your landscape? When a farmer looks out over his 100 acres he knows that not every acre is going to have good soil to plant. Similarly, we can’t simply keep planting the same ministries in the same places, we need to be curious and deliberate. Are you taking the time to see and hear as Christ calls us to do?
The Gospel is about people’s real lives. And our lives are messy. So how can we expect our ministries to be nicely “boxed” with tactics and programs? Find out what people need and meet that need. For example, if parents lack the faith to nurture their own children then help parents with their faith.
Do you know how many hours people are spending behind a screen each day? If it’s a lot (it is) then how are you seeing that as a place for relationship? If young people aren’t showing up to your “youth group” then find out where they are and go there.
Have you ever asked people about their relationships, about their faith and their story? What if you became a story telling church? You could be a church where people desire to talk about how God is living and active in their lives and enjoy talking about how God has shown God’s self in amazing ways.
Know your landscape. Know your people. Know the trends. Know the hurts and pains of people’s daily lives. It is there where Christ desires to be. It is there on the street where Christ meets the beggar, the sick, the blind, the lame and the hurting.
God calls us to meet people in the messiness of their lives. We can’t expect them to always have the energy to always come to what we offer.
Go. Live with your community. Understand the landscape. God will open new pathways for faith formation.