Payne suggests that we plant at the intersection of receptivity and need:
- Receptivity — Where are people ready to hear the gospel? While there is a role for planting in areas with low receptivity, it is best to prioritize areas where people are receptive to the gospel.
- Need — Where do people need to hear the gospel? Where are there a high number of people who have never heard the gospel, in contrast to areas where there are a high percentage of believers? (See Payne’s recent post on Utica as an example. I would argue that Toronto is just as needy.)
Payne argues that we should prioritize areas of high need and receptivity as a matter of stewardship. While some may be called to areas of high need and low receptivity, this is not the norm.
As I think about this, I would add one more consideration:
- Passion — Where am I particularly suited and impassioned to serve?
This is probably worth its own post, but I have found that when God calls someone to do something, he usually also gives them a great passion or burden for that work.
We should therefore aim to plant churches at the intersection of receptivity, need, and passion.
Thoughts? I’d love to hear them!