Do Your Research

Act like a missionary in your local context.

Tell your group members that they have been chosen to be missionaries to specified locations in your community. When they get to their assigned locations, they'll need to observe the culture and the people. Let them know this is important research so that they can know what the people are like, what they're looking for, and what their lifestyle rhythms are. They cannot be effective missionaries without doing this research.

Have group members split into groups of three. Then give them a location where they will be a missionary. Choose places in your community where people gather: a coffeehouse, a popular restaurant, a community center, a neighborhood park. Tell them they should simply observe for at least 30 minutes, taking notes on what they see. After 30 minutes, they may talk to people in that location if they choose, asking questions to clarify what they have seen. For instance, you might ask a parent at the community center about the age group of the soccer team practicing.

After groups have finished observing, reconvene. (You may do this the same day or at your next meeting.)

Debriefing Questions:

  1. What was it like observing your location? What feelings did you have? Why?
  2. What kinds of things did you observe about the people and culture?
  3. Did anything surprise you? Why or why not?
  4. Was it difficult to simply observe and not interact with the people?
  5. What kinds of questions did you ask the people in your location?
  6. If you chose not to ask questions, why did you choose not to?
  7. Based on your findings, are you inspired to do anything differently in order to reveal God's love to our community?

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