Understanding the unreached segments in pockets of lostness

N.C. BAPTIST PODCAST
March 6, 2018
Subscribe

This podcast was recorded at the Disciple-Making Conference breakout session training. Russ Reaves and Steve Harris dive into a discussion of unreached population groups, likening these pockets of lostness to spaghetti as they often feature common strands woven throughout one pocket to another. Hundreds of these pockets of lostness—geographic areas in which the population is highly dense, diverse and distanced from the gospel—have been identified in North Carolina. Reaves and Harris explore the commonalities, how to engage the groups in disciple-making and how to leverage strands in one pocket for similar strands in another.

Here is an excerpt from this podcast:

A pocket of lostness is a geographic area up to a three-mile radius in which the population in that area is highly unchurched—usually up around 70 percent or more unchurched. In these pockets of lostness, they are identified by several categories: population density, high diversity within that population, and population distance from the gospel—the people self-proclaim themselves to be far from God. I remember reading a few years ago, when Jerry Rankin was president of the IMB [International Mission Board], he was writing about pancakes and waffles. What Rankin said was that we can’t look at the world like it’s a pancake, where, when you pour syrup over it, it flows all over smoothly and gets all over it. But rather, he says, it’s more like a waffle: a matrix of squares separated by ridges. So, if you want syrup all over your waffle, you have to deliberately pour it into each little square. The picture here is of a world that is full of diverse peoples who are separated from each other by cultural barriers that keep the gospel from flowing cross-culturally. If you think about that in terms of a pocket of lostness, we want to look at this like it’s a waffle, not a pancake. We’ve had, in some cases, created a grid in a pocket of lostness. The problem with that approach is that, even within that square, there is such diversity and such cultural difference between people who live next door to each other that it’s really more like spaghetti. What I mean by that is that these hard-to-reach population segments meander all through the pocket and it takes a different kind of strategy to reach each one of them. Our goal is to see sustainable, reproducible disciple-making taking place among every population segment in a lost pocket.

Editor’s Note: Russ Reaves and Stephen Harris both serve on the Strategic Focus Team for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. 

Strategic Focus Team  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

How you can impact lostness

An estimated 5.8 million lost people live in North Carolina and that number is growing. The Strategic Focus Team of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina helps churches take a missionary​ ​approach to North Carolina’s pockets of lostness. Every Baptist across North...

4 ways to pray for the coastal region

The Strategic Focus Team works with churches in eight population centers and other areas across the state of North Carolina. The highest concentrations of lost people are found in and around the eight population centers, which are the Blue Ridge, Coastal, Fayetteville, Greenville,...

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

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....

One approach to reaching the lost in your community

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...

4 ways to pray for Blue Ridge

The Strategic Focus Team works with churches in eight population centers and other areas across the state of North Carolina. The highest concentrations of lost people are found in and around the eight population centers, which are the Blue Ridge, Coastal, Fayetteville, Greenville,...

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!