Knowing your Community

It is important to understand the uniqueness of your community. In some places a new church can be perceived as something that can be incorporated into one of its other traditional activities. It is not exciting to have people come to your church, but soon or later just to find out that they are getting involved in pagan practices that might be harmful to their own lives. If the community you are working with sees nothing wrong with consulting witch doctors or fortune tellers it means you have to first deal with these issues in prayer.

In the book of Acts 17:22 and 23 the Bible in reference to Paul says, “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (KJV). Paul perceived that these people were religious and from that perception he was able to help them find salvation through Jesus Christ.

One of the things that Paul did in Athens was to take a walk in the city. In this Scripture Paul says that he passed by and saw these people’s devotions to idols. This means a church planter must take time to walk around in his community. A good perception of your new community helps to effectively deal with issues that need attention. What you see in the community will tell you what is important to the people so that you can use a more effective way of dealing with practices that might be contrary to the truth you present.

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