Discovering the Asian-American Missional Topography of DFW, Entry #1
Journal Summary of notes from my first trip in 2012 to the DFW area in searching for People of Peace and describing the Missional Topography of the DFW metroplex. I will continue to add the relevant entries throughout the blog… follow the series…
If I am the first to coin this term, then I want the credit 🙂 I tried googling the phrase, “Missional Topography“, but to my dismay — nothing. I was really going to copy and paste it, but no citations appeared.
Therefore, I must define this nebulous concept. In Numbers 13, we find out before the Israelites are to enter into the Promised Land, God instructs them to send 12 spies to survey the land. To the new generation, they have never been back to the land of their forefathers and must determine what the lay of the land must look like before they can plant roots. Two reports come back, 10 negative, yet 2 positive. The majority wins, and we know that the next 40 years is a purging of the old generation, and the raising up of a new generation.
I find this story very relevant to another story a good friend in Dallas told me on this trip. Many have tried to plant a 2nd gen Asian American church, yet for some reason the success rate has been low in the DFW area. The “STORY OF THE TWO SHOE SALESMAN” goes something like this:
—- A shoe company wanted to sales shoes on a remote island in the Pacific. So they sent 2 veteran salesman to survey the area to answer the question, “Is this good incremental business?” After their arrival and assessment, the 2 salesmen sent back 2 drastically different point of views:
Email from Salesman #1: “BAD INVESTMENT. The natives never wear shoes. They don’t need it. Let’s get out of here”
Email from Salesman #2: “SEND LOTS OF SHOES! It’s a gold mine. No one wears shoes around here.” —-
Yet, I still haven’t defined “Missional Topography”, but I have described the purpose. A Missional Topography gives us the spiritual layout of the land for reaching the lost in a clearly defined area of ethnicity, geography, and spiritual sensitivity. Before planting any vibrant ministry, we must make every effort to know the context of what is ahead, so that we may prepare for the Mission itself.
In my next entry, I want to describe the different components that go into creating a Missional Topography starting with my trip to the DFW area. Here is a snap shot of the Missional Topography of the DFW map.