Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ten Ways to Find Communities of Unreached People in Your Town (or one nearby!)

Yesterday I fired this across your bow, “9 of every 10 people in the world are lost, outside of personal faith in Jesus Christ; 2 out of every 3 people in the world have never heard a clear explanation of the gospel; 1 out of every 3 people in the world are still in the “unreached” category, with no near neighbor to tell them the message of the gospel.” [Here's a point of discussion for you: how could children be thought of as an unreached people?]

Here are 1o excellent ideas to reach the unreached from where you are (from, "Tell by the Smell - Connecting with Unreached People Locally."):

1. Look up ethnic restaurants in your yellow pages.

2. Visit or call ethnic churches and ask about their lesser-evangelized neighbor communities.

3. Attend international festivals or other cultural events at a university.

4. Call a church that has hosted "Perspectives" in your target city. Ask to speak to the missions pastor. Tell him or her you'll pass on whatever you find out if they'll get you going in the right direction.

5. To find an on-line starting point, search the phrase "refugee services" plus the name of the town you're interested in. This will turn up Christian and governmental agencies and efforts to help refugees. Connecting with them can move you down the road to locating ethnic areas.

6. Check out Ethnic Harvest.

7. Consider posting a question in the appropriate state forum. For my current city of interest, Indianapolis, there seems to be an impressive amount of forum traffic, but I don't have real-world experience in terms of response to my question ... yet.

8. Check a guidebook. Granted, this works better if you live in Amsterdam or San Francisco, but it's worth a look. Of course, if you're checking out Indianapolis, this step won't take very long!

9. Visit the library and glance through the free literature rack. Or if you're really feeling adventurous, visit a high-traffic government office. Check the languages that literature is printed in, then go google that language and your city name.

10. Visit a large library and have a real-life conversation with a librarian. I tried this in Tempe, Arizona with less than stellar success, but your mileage might vary. And to her credit, the librarian at Tempe did point me in some helpful directions.

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