What is a Missional Community?
In the following weeks I will explain why, as a church plant, we do not (yet) have a Sunday gathering where we hear the Word preached, sing songs about the Gospel, pray, and practice the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. However, what we do have are Missional Communities. Today, I want to respond to a question that I find myself answering quite often when I tell my neighbors about our church plant. What is a missional community?
ONE BODY, two expressions
First, we must understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ forms and fuels our identity as the Church. We are one body that will one day gather on Sundays collectively, but we also scatter during the weeks to live out our identity as the church consistently. The latter of the two are done in and through missional communities where we see the people of God do ‘life on life’ with one another as well as amongst and with a watching world. The Scriptures call us to a dual fidelity: to the content of the gospel message and to the context of a believing community.
Missional Communities are the primary vehicle for discipleship – the context where we apply the Gospel to our lives, while changing in Gospel-character and building redemptive relationships. It is a committed group of believers (family) who live out Jesus’ call to go and make disciples (witnesses). This is done in a specific area of the city, or even a particular culture, to demonstrate the Gospel in the way we care for and love one another and the neighborhood (servants). We appreciate and adapt to the culture in order to reach people, but we also challenge and confront it with the Gospel and God’s Word (disciples). As a community and individuals we pray (worshippers) for others and expose them to the Gospel through word and deed – both to those who believe it and to those who do not.
To make it clear, a missional community group is not merely:
- a small group
- a Bible study
- a support group
- a social activist group
- a weekly meeting
Here is a helpful way to understand what missional communities are – they are about people; not programs.
So what do we do at missional communities? The best way to find out is simply to come and join us one evening (more info here). You’ll find a welcoming community of folks who gather for a meal, discuss various questions they may have about life, religion, and/or the Bible. Additionally, we will want to take the time to get to know you regardless of where you are in life – single mom, atheist, skeptic, believer, catholic, addict, etc – because we believe that is where God met us.
Regardless of where a missional community meets, they are an integral part to the mission and vision of God’s plan to reconcile all things to himself (Col 1:20; 2 Cor 5:21). Our hope is that eventually, when the time is right, all of our missional communities will gather together for the preaching of the Word on Sundays, but for now all other dimensions of the church’s life takes place in missional communities.
Interested in visiting our missional community? Click here.