Asking Questions

In the last issue of Outreach Magazine, one of my favorite friends in ministry, Dave Furguson, interviewed one of favorite thinkers in ministry, Alan Hirsh. Hirsh had a few quotes that may help some understand why we’re doing things the way we’re doing in Vegas…

Hirsh said: “We go among the people, we engage in mission among them, we are incarnational among them. And from within that, we ask basic questions: What is going to be good news for these people – what are the issues they have that the Gospel could address? I do not presume to know the answer before I get there. Then, of course, we ask the question: What is church for this people group – how wil the church be expressed in their context? Again, not assuming the answer, but discovering it. I think this is where we’ve made a big mistake. We impose forms of the church without thinking of the dynamics of the culture.”

So far the main thing I’ve done in Vegas is ask questions. I’ve scheduled at least one meeting every day with people who have lived in Vegas for awhile, just to ask questions. I’m also asking questions of waitresses, convenience store workers, anyone and everyone. Questions like: “What do you think are the greatest needs in Vegas that aren’t being met?” “Why do you think most people in Vegas don’t go to church?” “What are the biggest questions people in Vegas are asking?” “What kind of church would work for people in Vegas?” “What do you think are the biggest fears of people in Vegas?”