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A Simple Solution for Reaching People

“So, did you grow up around here?”

I was in North Dakota. Gail and I were driving home from vacation. (Beautiful drive!)

It’s a question I often ask when meeting waiters, hotel staff, folks pausing long enough for a brief intersection of stories.

It’s a chance for me to listen to a bit of their story, often reciprocated by inquiry about a similar bit of my story, that sometimes includes a bit of God’s redeeming story through Jesus.

It’s fun.

And it’s usually a way to encourage people—young adults trying to jump-start careers and dreams, or regular adults along the way. Even for an introvert like me.

It’s my way of trying to simply be an available voice where God might already be at work in someone’s life.

Back to…“So, did you grow up around here?”

Both smiled. Both gave a negative head shake.

“Where from?”


“Puerto Rico.”

“So, how’d you get to Bismarck?”

The answers were swift: “Jobs!”… “Jobs!”

I discovered that at the time, North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate of the 50 states.

I guess it would make sense that a good place to move and look for a job when you don’t have one would be a state with lots of jobs!

It occurs to me that lots of churches are disappointed that they don’t have deeper connections with people who are disconnected from God OR wider influence in representing the Kingdom of God.

And, sometimes, it’s because they’re not going and connecting where the disconnected are!

Sounds like a simple enough solution, doesn’t it?

It’s seen in Luke 5, with Jesus requesting to go fishing in the deep water after Peter and company had fished all night and caught nothing. Big catch…deep water…fishing where Jesus invites them to fish.

If you want to connect with people who are disconnected from God you probably need to go where the disconnected actually are!

Or at least make sure that the people of God who work and live in the pockets and places inhabited by the disconnected (that’s almost everywhere!) are discipled to listen for the prompting of God and to exercise the faith to act on the prompting.

Now, for all of our nice platitudes and preaching about stuff like this, that’s usually an enormous task. (And yes, I’ve been guilty of both preaching and platituding from the pulpit…and not practicing myself!)

It’s a leadership task, first lived by the leader before led by the leader.

But it’s a worthwhile leadership task for every church that’s not finding the disconnected already coming through their doors.

“So, did you grow up around here?”

That day in Bismarck the story sharing didn’t go much further. Sometimes it doesn’t.

And, sometimes it does!

PLI longs for the Church to recapture the vibrancy of community centered around mission by training and investing in leaders that multiply and can not only…

  • See the vision, but
  • Live the vision, so they can
  • Lead the vision.

Finally, would you do one of the following?

  • Share this with a leader who wants to see their congregation have wider Gospel influence.
  • Check out one of the PLI learning communities or contact Raechel for more information.
  • Make a gift today that helps recapture the vibrancy of community centered around mission.

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