The Kingdom Concept: Defining our Area of Operations

Over the past two Wednesday evenings, I have introduced several concepts to our church family. The largest of these concepts is something entitled “Kingdom Concept.” Will Mancini, in his book Church Unique, defines this concept as “the simple, clear, ‘big idea’ that defines how your church will glorify God and make disciples.” In order to unveil this big idea, several other steps are required.

The first step toward understanding our place in God’s Kingdom is to determine our place in His world. Called the “Local Predicament,” we are looking to truly know our area of operations. Who lives in the area God has entrusted to us for disciple-making? What are the strongholds or markers of sin in our area? What opportunities exist for us to exploit for the sake of the Kingdom? These questions and more allow us to really grasp our ministry/mission field.

In pursuing these questions, we discussed some of the different ways for us to understand our immediate context of missional ministry: Concord and Cabarrus County. Relating to size of population, we found out that 79,000 people live within a five-mile radius of our church. The average age of those folks is 37 years old. The ethnic makeup of our field is 64% white, 18% African American, and 13% Hispanic. In the entire Cabarrus County, the population is 206,800 people strong.

After establishing these demographic markers, I asked a series of questions meant to establish two thought: what needs exist around us and what opportunities do those needs offer? Below are lists for our collaborative answers from the past two Wednesdays:

 

                        Needs                                                                          Opportunities

Concord becoming a transient population                             Organized Visitation

Surrounded by young unchurched families                           Ensure each home has a bible

Boys/Girls Clubs demonstrate poverty                                   Economic Boost

School system makeup demonstrates poverty                      Healing of families

Drugs, addiction, pre-natal addiction                                     Christians modeling Christ-likeness

Increasing jail population                                                          Organic outreach

Increasing # of microbreweries                                                Sharing the Gospel

Wrong view of the gospel                                                           Free tutoring

 

In addition, when prompted about our location in Concord, we noted: close to schools, centralized location, facility that accentuates hospitality, music opportunities, location for “tent revival,” and opportunity for homecoming.

I list all of these because they tell us what our congregation thinks about our location in the world. Over time, we will try to match up the opportunities and the needs so that we can understand why God has put us here.

Thanks for all the input. We will continue to massage this work so we can properly identify our local predicament. I’m very excited about the mission God has given to us. Perhaps we’ll get there soon, or maybe it will take a while. Either way, the joy of our lives is to seek the Lord and His plans for us!
 
 
In Him,
 
Pastor Jim