Understanding your neighbourhood #2

As I stated in a previous post, recognising our missional context means we can no longer assume the church understands the culture. Here are set of questions that may help you think through the stories, values, worldview and culture of the people in your neighbourhood.

Where?

Where are the missional spaces (places and activities where you meet people)?
Where do they experience community?
Are their existing social networks with which we can engage or do we need to find ways of creating community within a neighbourhood?
Where should you be to have missional opportunities?

When?

When are the missional moments?
What are the rhythms of your neighbourhood?
How do people organise their time?
What cultural experiences and celebration do people value? How might these be used as bridges to the gospel?
When should you be available to have missional opportunities?

What?

What are peoples’ fears, hopes and hurts?
What ‘gospel’ stories are told in the neighbourhood? What gives people identity (creation)? How do they account for what what’s wrong with the world (fall)? What’s the solution (redemption)? What are their hopes (consummation)?
What are the barriers beliefs or assumptions cause people to dismiss the gospel?
What sins will the gospel first confront and heal for these people?
In what ways are people self-righteous?
What is the good news for people in this neighbourhood?
What will church look like for people in this neighbourhood?

Sometimes communities are defined by geography, but they may also be defined in other ways (ethnicity, leisure interest, time of life). In an urban context most people are part of several communities.

These are questions you might ask on first encountering a new community or neighbourhood. But they should also be questions we ask all the time so that missional reflection is a normal part of our life.
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6 thoughts on “Understanding your neighbourhood #2

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  5. I really almost feel ill when I read this sort of dribble passing for evangelism. Lets see home many times we can use the word “missional” or some derviation because it sounds so hip and sensitive and cool. “That shalt be relevant to the culture/s we live in or want to reach with the gospel” Do you think Jonah or the Holy God that sent him to Ninevah thought about any of these things? The Gospel is always foolish or contemptable to those who are perishing but life and refreshment to those who need a savior. We are not dealing with the “unchurched” or “seeker” after God we are dealing the “natural man”
    These verses should show the problem and the solution.
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    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
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    1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
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    1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
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    1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    ——————————————————————————–
    1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
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    1 Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
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    2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
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    2 Corinthians 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
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    2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. (NASB ©1995)

    May God help you to study the revivals of the past. What has brought soul after soul into the kingdom for 2000 years. Must we be socialogists and take surveys before preaching the gospel. You want to transform neighborhoods, but you must transform hearts with nothing less than the gospel and them the repentace and good works that follow will transform those neighborhoods not by the misguided methodlogies of outsiders calling themselves “missional” but by the very people have get converted. The world gets transformed one person at a time by the “inherent” power of the gospel. I would you read or reread the cause and results of the Welsh Revival” May we return to God’s ways of saving sinners wether they are popular or produce numbers we can boast of.

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