The first question you need to ask is where am I going to jump? How does one pick a location? In the New Testament, Paul and Barnabas “went home”. They targeted their own people. Paul targeted his fellow citizens of Turkey, and Barnabas the inhabitants of his native Cypress. On Paul’s second missionary journey, Paul thought he had it all mapped out, but the Holy Spirit kept frustrating his attempts to go places, and instead it was the Macedonian call that brought him to Greece. Maybe you’ve seen the needs of a community and feel the pull to help them. It can be a call to a specific people group like
- Hudson Taylor who felt called exclusively to the Chinese. Paul claimed that he was called specifically as a “sent one” to the Gentiles in every epistle.
KNOWING YOUR TARGET JUMP ZONE
Before you can start to even think about pulling the rip-cord at your church launch you’ll need to start doing some outreach in the community you’re targeting.
When you start a church, knowing the territory you’re going to jump into is extremely important. It will also determine your tactics. During D-Day, the strategic planners in Operation Overlord misread the aerial photographs of the hedgerow system of France. Assuming that the hedgerows were raised like the British equivalents, when the parachuters landed, they discovered that they were not raised, but depressed. Therefore the rules of engagement completely changed once they got on the ground altering how they’d take a road, or storm a pillbox. The reality was that they hadn’t been trained for this terrain. It can be as simple as going from Orange County, California into Los Angeles County. Once you cross that county line, people dress, think, and act different (and they have better taste in art and music). Seriously, Orange County people trying to reach LA county people have to make a drastic shift in regards to how they approach people. There needs to be a shift from a suburban mindset to an urban one.
In Wales, my Welsh church planting brothers in arms and I were jumping into very different areas. My toilet scrubber wouldn’t have worked in his toilet, or visa versa. Because we were reaching different demographical communities, our approach had to be adjusted strategically. My tactics wouldn’t work in his drop zone, and his wouldn’t work in mine. Therefore, you also have to be ready to strategically change your tactics based on your targeted jump zone. If you jump into every target zone with the same tactics in mind, it’s a recipe for home-baked disaster, just like mom used to make.
For this reason, no mentor can give you a play-by-play “how to manual” that applies to every situation. How could they? Even the scripture demonstrates that Paul’s approach changed from city to city.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.