Missional Communities are light weight, low maintenance purposeful fellowships. God is working through these simple groups to release His power in the world to meet needs, to address injustices, to bring healing (even to those hurt by the church), to draw people far from God to faith, and to help many learn the way of Jesus. These groups are about mission AND discipleship.
But what is a missional community? In short, it is a family on mission: connected to God and one another and very intentional about being a blessing in their community. Our MCs are places for fellowship and discipleship. And we are here to serve our city and bless our neighbors.
1) Already mentioned, MCs need to feel kind of like an extended family. You know everybody. You may be new, but there are no strangers. You are closer to some than others – and that’s okay. You know you belong, but it’s easy to involve new folks. MCs need to be “big enough to dare and small enough to care.”
2) MC life revolves around a rhythm of “Up”, “In”, and “Out.” Up – relationship with God. In – a relationship with one another. Out – Serving in the world. You see Jesus living this way: spending time with the Father (Up), spending time with his disciples (In), spending time meeting needs in the world (Out). (For an example of all three together, see Luke 6:12-19). This rhythm reinforces a lifestyle of discipleship (#4)
3) Each MC has a clearly defined vision for their own mission. MCs are large enough to have a big impact in one area. If they are trying to serve in too many ways, their energies become divided. We work with the leadership of each of our MCs to what God is calling them to do and to be clear about it. Who are they going to? Where will they work? What will they do? How will this advance the Kingdom? When Jesus sent his disciples out in Luke 9, Luke 10, and Acts 1:8, you find this kind of clarity.
4) To be healthy enough to grow and reproduce, each MC has to be intentional about discipleship. Simply put, discipleship is about becoming more like Jesus – about learning to imitate Jesus. That does not happen by accident. Every MC needs to have a plan for discipleship so that members are being equipped and motivated to imitate Jesus and help others do the same. (Matthew 28:18-20)
5) And finally, those leading the MC need to be accountable to others in the church. But these releationships need to be characterized by low control to make room for the work fo the Holy Spirit AND high accountability, providing both encouraging support AND motivating challenge. We’re “to spur one another on toward love an good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
As Mike Breen says, “If done well, these can lead to the incredible phenomenon of a scattered and gathered church where it is the lay leaders of the church being released to the edges of the missional frontier, seeing extraordinary Kingdom breakthrough.”
That’s what we are working and praying for a First Coast Missional Communities.