One approach to reaching the lost in your community

July 23, 2018

During His earthly ministry, Jesus ministered among crowds, trained 12 disciples and invested deeply in three of His followers — Peter, James and John.

Jesus focused on a few in order to ultimately reach the many.

What if our churches did the same thing?

With an estimated 5.8 million people in North Carolina who don’t know Christ, lostness abounds all across the state. Yet there are certain areas where there are higher concentrations of lost people. These places are called “pockets of lostness.”

A pocket of lostness is a geographic area, usually up to a 3-mile radius, in which most people don’t know the Lord and are not being engaged by the local church. These areas often have very low numbers of disciples and healthy churches.

Additionally, pockets of lostness are often places of great cultural, ethnic and economic diversity, resulting in isolated population segments within the pocket.

Instead of focusing on reaching an entire pocket, churches can focus on reaching a certain group or segment within a pocket. Doing so will help the local church be more intentional in reaching these groups.

Each segment requires a unique strategy for outreach and engagement. One must understand a segment’s context in order to make connections and share the gospel. For example, one segment may be middle-class families who are extremely busy, while another may be singles who love entertainment and are devoted to specific causes. Another segment may be Indian Hindus.
Reaching population segments like these and others calls for intentional, relational models of disciple-making and ministries to be implemented.

Some North Carolina churches are already reaching segments within pockets of lostness. Other churches are exploring ways they can become involved through new or existing ministries or by partnering with other churches.
If your church is located near a pocket of lostness, consider joining a local strategy team to reach those pockets. Or, if your church is far from a pocket but has a niche for reaching a certain population group or segment, there are a number of ways you can be involved, as well.

By adopting a particular segment, your church will take ownership for spreading the gospel among the precious souls in that segment.


by Strategic Focus Team  
/  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

How to reach those ‘far from God’ but ‘near to us’

The missionary task propels the global church from everywhere to everywhere to share the gospel in the darkest corners of the world. That same gospel-driven intentionality leads local churches to be relevant in engaging the lost around them. Our state is changing as long-term...

Beating the bad news of the pandemic with the good news of the gospel

Evangelism is sharing the good news of the gospel. Good news sounds a lot better when you’re acutely aware of the bad news. COVID-19 is evaporating a lot of fragile happiness with a seemingly endless stream of bad news. So far, 2020 seems to be one bad news event after another....

Avoiding routines and ruts that hinder relationships

"Parson, you're like an ol' goat. You don't know but one way to the barn." That was a church member's humorous assessment of my preference for routines when I pastored a church in eastern North Carolina years ago. There is a lot of value to routines, but over time, our routines...

Revitalization in the Blue Ridge region

It’s been said that you can die and go to heaven from anywhere, but if you go from the Blue Ridge Mountains, you won’t notice the difference quite so much. I love the mountains and especially the pastors and churches that are nestled into the coves and valleys that make up the...

3 disciple-making mistakes to avoid

In Luke 10, Jesus gave His followers instructions on how to enter the cities, homes and lives of the people they would encounter in the mission He’d given them. Now, as then, most of the unreached will not come to us. We must go to them. As His followers go about the mission of...

Mayberry doesn’t exist anymore

“Barney Gets His Man” is a favorite episode from The Andy Griffith Show. In that episode, there’s a high-speed car chase, Andy carries a gun and an African-American citizen can be seen in the background when the criminal is apprehended. If that’s the only episode you ever watch,...

Relationships are the doorway into disciple-making

Living on mission means that we must share the gospel in the context of relationships. Although the current COVID-19 crisis is in the forefront of our minds, the challenge remains the same. Effective discipleship happens when we gather — physically or digitally — in the meaningful...

3 steps to ‘shape’ a disciple-making strategy

The pastor appeared downcast as he listened to a mentor tell him about the staggering statistics of lostness in his community. Finally, he broke the silence: “What can we do? Our church is very small and we have no financial resources.” The mentor quickly sketched three shapes...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!