David Garrison in his book Church Planting Movements says that one characteristic that identifies church planting movements is that they flourish in an atmosphere of uncertainty. He also notes that the opposite is true by saying, â€œGreat social stability tends to lull people into a false sense of security. They forget that life is short and that one must prepare for eternity. This creates an obstacle for affluent Western Europe, Japan, and the United States where unparalleled economic health has fostered unparalleled malaise.â€
If we’re going to reach people with the gospel, it’s wise to find those who are experiencing a personal crisis–those who know their need for Jesus. And this might lead us to people who are not like us!
It’s also a well-known truth that unchurched people are most responsive to a change in lifestyle during periods of transition in their lives. A period of transition is a span of time when an individualâ€™s normal everyday behavior patterns are disrupted by some irregular event that causes stress in his or her life. Some examples would be the birth of a child, a marriage, a divorce, or a hospitalization. Those who undergo this kind of transition are even more receptive when irregular events compound themselves over a short period of time (e.g., like 9-11). However, the greater the length of time following a period of transition, the less receptive they will be.
“Jesus, make us aware of those who are needy around us and experiencing personal crisis. Give us the boldness to minister to their needs and lead them to Your feet.”