I’ve had a short series the last few Thursdays on the importance of understanding your local predicament in constructing your church’s vision, and the strategy you’ll employ to see the vision become reality. The problem is that we tend to to look to success stories in other places, not realizing that where God has specifically placed us and who the people are who make up our town are essential elements in our vision and strategy.
Last time I mentioned that we decided that because of cultural issues in Las Vegas, it wouldn’t be wise for us to start our church depending on small groups as a critical piece of our disciple making strategy. This led us to consider: What are valuable things that happen in small groups that we need to replace? And what can we offer to people to help them become disciples?
We decided that we needed to provide Bible teaching, fellowship, accountability, and to equip people with some important skills (like: how to study the Bible, how to forgive, how to pray, how to overcome sin, how to share their faith, etc.).
What we came up with, in addition to our weekend services (which provide Bible teaching and a chance to worship God through singing, communion, and giving), were Verve University and Micro Groups. Verve University offers six-week courses providing Bible teaching and equipping on those important skills. Micro Groups are three to five guys or ladies meeting once a week for fellowship, accountability, and encouragement. And both of these fit into the culture of Las Vegas – not requiring people to go into stranger’s homes, and allowing us to schedule around work schedules.
What’s your church’s strategy for producing disciples? How is that strategy influenced by the place you live and the people you’re reaching? If it’s not, could you have a more effective strategy if you took into consideration your local predicament?