“Recognizing our missionary context means we can no longer assume that the church understands the culture. We need to rediscover or relearn the culture. We need to get to know our neighborhood, its people, and their stories, values, worldview and culture. We need to ask the kind of questions that missionaries ask when they enter a new culture, questions such as:

WHERE?

* Where are the places and activities we can meet people (the missional SPACES)?
* Where do people experience community?
* Are there existing social networks with which we can engage, or do we need to find ways of creating community within a neighborhood?
* Where should we be to have missional opporunities?

WHEN?

* Where are the patterns and timescales of our neighborhood (the missional RHYTHMS)?
* When are the times we can connect with people (the missional moments)?
* How do people organize their time in this place?
* What cultural experiences and celebrations do people value? How might these be used as bridges to the gospel?
* When should we be available in order to have missional opportunities?

WHAT?

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

Everyday Church, Tim Chester and Steve Timmins, 42-43.

1 Comment on rediscovering the culture

  1. Paul Fromont says:

    Great questions Len. Thanks for sharing them :-)