Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Are other Christian groups serving the same target population in similar ways?
“What indicators might identify particular mission engagements as being strategic? What questions could you ask about mission initiatives to help decide if they are strategic?”
Indicator #2: Are other Christian groups serving the same target population in similar ways? Is our initiative a duplication of effort, or are we doing something no one else is doing among this group?
Churches know how to do what they know how to do. Consequently, more familiar ministries are often duplicated in communities because churches know how to address those concerns. Strategic mission engagement might require churches to find ways to address concerns on which other churches are not already focused. Creativity will be required as will sensitivity to the broad based needs of a community. However, it is well for us to remember that ministry is not first driven by needs to be addressed, but by the gifts and skill sets that God has given our congregation. Applying insights of Frederick Buechner, we would identify ministry as “…the place where deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” We need not duplicate the ministry of others. We can live out of our own unique capacity in serving those in our mission field.