When asked “Who are you planning to reach?”, the pastor walked up to the window and said, “Look at those houses out there.” The Mission Field for your group needs to be specific and include the opportunity to develop relationships with the lost. Identify the place where you are most likely to succeed.
Identifying your Mission Field options:
- Geographic Area – Pick an area fitting the capability of your group, such as a new subdivision.
- Potential Per Member – Ask members to identify reachable friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers, then set the total as your field.
- Community Opportunity – Identify a school, single parents or families of kids on a ball team.
- Age-group or Life Stage – For example 30-35 years or newly married.
Get your group involved in the decision to increase ownership of the idea. At a group meeting fellowship, ask each group member to list at least three possible Mission Field opportunities on sticky notes, one idea per note. Next ask the group to identify the best opportunities on the list, using the following questions:
- Is God already working in an area where we need to join Him?
- Is there a location where we already have relationships with people who do not know Christ?
- Are you especially passionate about one of the ideas?
- Eliminate ideas you could not afford in dollars or time.
- Eliminate ideas beyond the capability of your group.
Now, ask your group to pray about the remaining ideas. After a few days of prayer, ask the group to pick the Mission Field where they feel led by God.
Tom Belew is the Small Groups & Childhood Specialist for the California Southern Baptist Convention.