Every community and common mission is unique. The cookie cutter doesn’t exist and there’s no sense in trying. However, the main questions are always the same, even when the answers are numerous. The best place to start with your mission isn’t activity but listening. Listen to the people you are sent to and reflect on how their lives might intersect the gospel and community.

Here are five sets of questions to help you move forward in discipling others as a community with the gospel. One of the most effective ways of using these questions it to focus on one set at a time. For example, the next time your community gets together discuss the “Values” questions at length and discuss ways of learning even more about your common mission.

People Questions:

Who are the people is God sending us to? Where do they live and hang out? What are their stories? What are their names? What are the avenues to engage and build relationship?

Language Questions:

What “language” do they speak? Are these people young families, business professionals, working class, etc?

Value Questions:

What is most important to them? Success, money, relationships, independence, survival, comfort, escape, etc? Who speaks into their worldview?

Gospel Questions:

What false gospel do they believe in? In other words, what do they hope for? What is the “problem” in their eyes? What is the solution? How is the good news to them? How does it address their values? How is the gospel better than what they value most right now?

Needs Questions:

What are their needs? How does Jesus meet those needs? How can we be part of meeting their needs in a way that “shows” the gospel?

Brad A. Watson serves as a pastor of Bread&Wine Communities in Portland, Oregon where he develops, coaches, and trains leaders to form communities that love God and serve the city. Brad is passionate about helping people live lives that reflect their belief and hope in Jesus. He lives in southeast Portland with his wife and their three kids.