(Supplies needed: Bibles, pen, these printed guides, summaries of your “why” and “who” from previous meetings)
Opening Prayer: “Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.” (LSB; page 311, Prayer# 193)
Many books in the Bible tell us or give us context clues as to who the book/letter was originally written to as well as the author and sometimes even the reason it was written or why they did what they did in ministry. As we now try to see how our “why” and our “who” for this ministry fit together, let’s look together at some examples in Scripture where authors framed these two elements in their writing.
Use the questions below to discuss some or all of the passages; look at them together or divide them up working together in pairs:
John 20:30-31, 21:20-25
1 Corinthians 1:1-2, 10-11; 2 Corinthians 1:1-2, 1:23-2:9
1 John 1:1-4
- Who is writing the book (if it says)? What do you know about their story?
- Who is the intended recipient? Are they believers? Non-believers? Is it for a specific person/group of people or a broad audience?
- What can you find out just in those few verses about the reason they are writing that specific book or why they chose to do ministry the way they did?
- Other thoughts about their “why” or their “who”?
Something to Consider:
The Good News of Jesus never changes, yet throughout Scripture we see it “packaged” in different ways for different people and groups. A rainbow is shown to Noah back in Genesis to remind Him of God’s promise, but we don’t all get a literal sign in the sky. God sets up a sacrificial system where only the priests may enter the tabernacle and temple, yet that all changes when the curtain is torn in two at Jesus’ death. Jesus asks for a drink as a way to share the Gospel with the Samaritan woman and performs a fish-catching miracle when calling some of His disciples. Sometimes Paul is very direct and even harsh when calling believers to follow Christ while other times the tone is that of encouragement. The Gospel never changes; however, we must pay attention to both who we are speaking to and why we are engaging them in relationship in order to be most effective in ministry.
Having now fleshed out a little why your team is passionate about this ministry area and who you are serving, spend some time discussing how these two things fit together. Use the questions below if they are helpful:
- Restate your “why” from a few meetings ago. Share general reactions. What gets you excited? What seems like a God-sized challenge we’ll have to depend on Him to overcome?
- Clarify your target audience? Who is it you’re trying to connect with Christ and the Church?
- Why are you passionate about serving that demographic?
Practical Action Step:
By the end of this time together have your who and why solid so next time you can move into the really fun part of dreaming what programs, relationships, activities, and more can help you move toward God’s vision for your team!
Use the prayer below, or say your own, as you pray over your vision and target audience.
Jesus, we are excited about this vision that You have place before us:
We are passionate to serve these people:
As we move forward, may You give us endurance and perseverance to move forward even when it gets hard, protection from Satan’s attempts to stop us from expanding your Kingdom, wisdom each step of the journey, and joy in this calling! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!