Tuesday, October 19, 2010


You've heard this a lot before - context and culture are important. All of us know this in our heads - it's hard to make an impact if you don't have a good understanding of what is going on in the environment, the person, the community. But some of us keep telling high school kids that they can change the world and yet we neglect teaching them how to understand context. We are inspiring them but not giving them the right tools. Farmers with the wrong kind of seed.

Been re-reading a research report from a missions agency's vision team. The report is a gold mine on how to discover things in a city and community and getting a pulse on the movement of Christianity there. Model gathering this kind of data with your students and you've given them an innumerable gift.

Here is a rough outline of the report I'm looking at:
1. Leading churches in YYY.
2. The history of YYY.
3. YYY’s demographics
4. YYY’s spiritual climate
5. Religious History.
6. Emerging culture in YYY.
7. Infrastructure of YYY.
8. Potential Church planting locations
Granted, this isn't the only way to do it, but it's a good one. Oh - in November, Ember tries getting info for #3, #4, and #7. Students are along for the ride, but if you understand this post, you know it's more than that.


  1. I especially like your observation that we're "inspiring them but not giving them the right tools". I think also this happens w/ adults in churches and at conferences, etc. A stadium full of people can be moved to tears about human trafficking...to the point of wanting to act on their holy discontent. But the lone action point offered is, "give $ to this or that org." Clear and various actions steps should be offered on the heals of such a gripping inspiration...particularly when talking about cross-cultural Kingdom ministry.

  2. totally agree brian. hey have you read Switch by the Heath brothers. they've got some great stuff in there about providing tangible steps for people in the midst of change - like at a conference or something. same idea, it's a great read, you would love it.