“A missional community is a gospel community that lives out the mission of God together in a specific area and to a particular people group by demonstrating the gospel in tangible forms and declaring the gospel to others both those who believe it and those being exposed to it.”
A missional community by its identity is not primarily about us like a small group like so many think. Small groups were invented as a way of getting people to feel they are part of community even though they aren’t. Most are self-focused. A way to close the back door of church through community and connection.
A missional community is not primarily a bible study but studying the word as needed. When you are training for something where there is a goal you train differently. Like when you have a 5k coming up. Hopefully when we read the word in our missional communities we read it differently.
Not primarily a support group where people share their big problems. The best way to get people off self-focus is to focus on others. But support is part of it as people live on mission and people need to support each other but this is not why we exist as a family.
Not primarily a social activist group. It is about making disciples of people who make disciples and displaying the gospel in meaningful ways which can involve some form of social activism. Mission is to make disciples that is our only mission.
Not primarily an affinity group. You may find that affinity is your door in to make disciples but it will never stay there. I.E. working with college you learn you just can’t have college students and have a healthy focus.
Not primarily a weekly meeting. Don’t get sucked into “see you next week”.
Build a foundation on the gospel. Gospel power, gospel purpose, gospel people. Become increasingly fluent in the use of this gospel language. Get to know the Bible so you can point out the power of Christ in any passage. Start story-formed. Get to know each other’s stories.
Every human story follows the story. What they think redemption will be and recreation, when things are back to the way they should be what that will look like. The gospel is always good news in context based on our false hope of redemption.
Listen through gospel ears. Listen for what they are complaining about or what they are stoked about. Flow in gospel fluency and gospel listening.
Celebrate and proclaim the gospel through the Meal. (Taking communion together). Pass the bread and cup around, serve the person next to you and ask, what your need is today. If we don’t know how to speak the good news in our “family” it is probably not going to happen with not yet believers. Include not yet believers, yet explain it. Who did Jesus have the very first communion with?
Practice gospeling- head, heart, hands. The 4g’s God is great so I don’t have to be in control. God is glorious so I don’t have to fear others. God is good so I don’t have to look elsewhere for satisfaction. God is gracious; he has not counted our sins against us so we don’t have to prove ourselves. Motivating with the gospel through gospel fluency. Radical way of identifying and dealing with sin in our lives- 4 G’s.
#3- identify a mission together. Identify a unique context for a mission. The only mission we have been given is to make disciples. Jesus mission was to Israel then to the ends of the earth. What is the context you are going to make disciples- a pocket of unbelieving people? You make disciples of not-yet-Christians. Ask God to clarify your mission. You can only do that in context of gospel community living on mission.
Discipleship begins at the point of contact-relationship building. (Who did Jesus disciple?) You disciple people to new levels of faith and obedience and that takes community.
Begin to pray for the intentionality of your mission. Clearly state your mission and ask others to participate.
- Reorient the life of the community then around that mission. Just start to be with the culture as one of them. Jesus- God saves, Emmanuel- God with us. God came and we need to reorient our lives into the patterns of others and if you cannot do that then pray for God to help you lay down your life for that purpose.
Develop pathways of engaging the gospel- what is the good news to the people you are called to. What is the demonstration of good news to them? We should be living in such ways it demands gospel explanation to people. Consider forming a covenant around your mission.
#5- live life together with gospel intentionality. God is calling us to be a family of missionary servant’s right where we are at.
6 cultural rhythms from Garden to every society today. Identify daily common cultural rhythms.
Story formed- the idea of living in the story of God. We are living in a life that is formed by a story.
- Recreate- Sabbath rest to create
(Not meant to be to-do lists)
When we eat meals are we doing them with gospel intentionality?
God revealed himself through story. We are all born as oral learners. We want to know the story of God and what He has been up to since the beginning of time? Do you know each other’s stories well enough to point out where it intersects God’s.
We treat the Bible as a list of facts as opposed to God’s story and how He is pursuing us over and over. The story is not finished but is happening. Our lives are always intersecting God’s story.
Everyone has a relationship with God it’s just a matter of if it’s the right one or not.
We need to be listening in rhythm. Listening backward and forward. Knowing the story of what God is like, how He works. Listen forward through prayer, listening to the Spirit and listening to each other. When we pray how much of our prayer is us talking to God or us listening to God.
Cultivate a regular rhythm of listening to God.
Celebrate: people of God have always lived in a rhythm of celebration. Every feast that was mandated for Israel to live was a huge picture of Jesus redemption.
We need to be living as the most celebratory people. We should be entering into the rhythms of our cultures parties in redemptive ways. (24:34)
Bless: living in a rhythm of blessing. “You are blessed to be a blessing”. Bless 3 people each week through word, action, or gift.
God is looking for conduits of His grace. God’s only plan for gracing and blessing the people is through us. There is no other way. Ask God to make us a people of blessing to others.
Eat: most of us are eating on average 21 meals a week. Jesus gave us a meal to remember Him. Eat with your missional community and invite others over constantly.
Re-create- rest and create- Sabbath- rest in Christ’s completed work and out of that rest we create beauty. Are we cultivating in ourselves this rhythm? Reminding ourselves to trust in the Spirit. A day of rest is a day to remember what God has done. Resting looks different to different people. We all rest in different ways. What brings refocus to your life on God?
We are called to be a group of people who live differently among culture. But we are never called to take a break from community.
Responsibilities of leading a missional community:
Personal discipleship- Regular time in the Word and prayer. Is your love for the Word and time to be in the Word growing? If not ask God to change that in your heart.
Working toward faithfulness in elder qualifications.
Leading others in discipleship: Sharing leadership with people in your group. Aspects of leadership. Leaders equipped and sent out to start new MC’s. See the group multiply every year. There are so many not-yet-believers out there who are far from God.
Leading a community into the mission of discipleship
Leading a missional community in the mission of making disciples. Think core group of a new church plant.
If the expansion of the gospel depends on your MC and how you submitted to the Spirit’s work how is that going? Because that is how this works.
Build a multiplication mindset into everything you do. Our goal is to multiply.
Anything healthy grows. Only dead things do not grow.