Everything here represents my own opinion and not the opinion of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection or the United Methodist Church.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Affinity Group

One of the most important concepts that I have gleaned from this morning is that each of us has a particular group to which we have an affinity. A quote from Jim Griffith:

God is at work to draw people to God ... through you. What people are drawn to you? What people are you drawn to?
The answer to these two questions are what make up one's affinity group. This is a particular individual's mission field - the people that she or he is wired to reach. If there is no affinity with the community to which an individual is sent, how can any fruit be expected to be produced? It is very hard to preach the gospel to people whom one does not like.
Some examples of affinities include:
  • religious heritage - Did you grow up as a Christian, pre-Christian, churched or unchurched?
  • geographic and cultural - In what part of the country or state did you grow up? In what culture? Size of community?
  • psychographic - How do you understand the world? Black and white? Shades of gray? Truth is found in dialogue or declaration?
  • socioeconomic - Growing up, was your family financially self supporting? Did your family own the home in which you lived?
  • pre-call - What was your life like before receiving a call to ministry? What experiences could be examples of redemption that could provide hope for others?
I believe that this has application both in planting new congregations and the appointment process. For a pastor to be most effective her or his gifts, graces and affinities will be matched to the appointment. What are your affinities? Do your affinities match the role in which you currently find yourself?