Diagnosing Our Ability to Serve

How do we serve our city? What needs can we meet? Who needs the most help? These are questions that can get you started when looking to serve your city, but what else should we be asking? That is where Matt Carter and Darrin Patrick’s book, For the City, comes in.

In their book, they offer a number of questions that can help you and your church diagnose your ability to serve your city. Here is a modified list that I handed out to my church.

Questions to Ask

(1) What are the needs of our city?

(2) Out of the needs we are aware of in our city, who has God called us to serve? (This will primarily be determined by the skills of those in the congregation)

  • Immigrants?
  • Young families?
  • Seniors?
  • Particular Ethnic group?
  • Singles?
  • Poor? How do we define this group:
    • Homeless?
    • Underemployed?

(3) What are the pressing needs of the group we are called to serve?





(4) What do we possess that would be beneficial to this group?

  • Particular skill?
  • Disposable income?
  • Flexible schedule?
  • Other?

(5) Where is God already working? Where can we join in where God is working?

(6) Where are the people gathering who we are called to serve?

(7) In what do those whom we are called to serve find their sense of identity of purpose?

(8) How does the gospel address the needs of the group we are called to serve? If they were to define good news, what would that definition look like?


Darrin Patrick & Matt Carter, For the City, 115.


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