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

Why discipling new believers is so vital

Discipleship is the process of a believer's transformation to Christlikeness that takes place intentionally and relationally in the context of gospel community. Based on Jesus' call to His disciples in Matthew 4:19, a disciple is someone who is following Christ, is being changed...

Don’t make discipleship too complicated

I have a tendency to complicate things. God wired me to learn and think. The further I get from my junior high years, the more I grow to appreciate that about myself. God also called me to be a missionary. I love that call. I moved the family, learned the language and loved our...

How your CP giving makes an impact right here at home

When you think of the Cooperative Program (CP), you’re probably like me. You tend to think of supporting our international missionaries. And that’s a good thing. Southern Baptists give through the Cooperative Program to support more than 3,500 international missionaries. You also...

Will you pray and go?

I don’t remember much about that day, but one thing I do remember: it was hot — really hot. The temperature in Newton was near 100 degrees Fahrenheit that day. But we had committed to walk our neighborhood and pray for divine appointments. This was the third time in three weeks we...

Living in the Bible Belt doesn’t make you a Christian

I grew up in the Bible Belt. In those days, almost nobody worked on Sundays. We prayed before class, ball games and meals — even in the name of Jesus — whether we believed it or not. We proudly displayed the Ten Commandments in our courthouses — whether we obeyed them or not....

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...


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!