Exegeting your Community
By Anne Bosarge
Author and speaker Thom Rainer once did an informal survey on Twitter and asked how much time pastors spend in sermon preparation and exegeting scripture each week. Here is a breakdown of the results:
- 1-9 hours per sermon: 25%
- 10-18 hours per sermon: 69%
- 19-33 hours per sermon: 6%
I think we would all agree that spending time on sermon preparation is extremely important. Good pastors spend time exegeting the text to make sure they have an accurate interpretation of the text before presenting this to the congregations. Truth is important and should be handled as such.
What is exegesis and why does it take so long? Exegesis is the process of researching and analyzing a text to understand its meaning and significance. It involves studying the historical and cultural context in which it was written and considering the author’s intended message and audience. Exegesis helps us make sense of scripture and shows us how the Bible applies and connects with our lives.
Have you ever considered exegeting your community? Too often churches today are isolated from the neighborhood and community around them. Instead of becoming relevant to the community, the church makes assumptions that the community is like them, cares about what they care about and will respond to the same programs and ministries they respond to. We take the story of the community and interpret it through our own experience instead of taking the time to get to know the historical and cultural context in which the community has developed. If we are to accomplish our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ, we must take the time to get to know the needs and dreams of the people who are writing the larger story of our communities. As we exegete the community we can better know how to meet the community’s needs and show them how the Gospel meets them right where they are.
In South Georgia, we have a tool for you to do that work of exegeting your community! MissionInsite is a powerful tool for learning about your community and the neighborhood in which your church is planted. MissionInsite allows you to study your community, learning about their preferences, lifestyles, and desires. In MissionInsite Mosaics, you learn about the types of people in your community and can even receive suggestions on ministries that would directly meet their needs. Mosaics are people types, non-numerical, qualitative data. They are little short stories of the groups of people living around the church and in the larger community. Mosaics provides information about their preferred leadership style, hospitality, type of worship, and outreaches they will best respond to. It also includes educational, small group, financial, and communication preferences.
If you’re ready to learn more about how to put MissionInsite Mosaics to work for you, plan to join us for our upcoming training online with our MissionInsite representative. Let’s take time to exegete our community and neighborhood so we can make the Gospel relevant to the people God has sent us to reach.
What? MissionInsite Mosaic Training
When? May 10, 1pm
Who? Clergy and Laity are invited
Register Here to attend: https://sgaumc-reg.brtapp.com/MissionInsiteTraining
Anne Bosarge serves as the Director of Leadership Strategies and Local Church Resources for the South Georgia Annual Conference. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.