With the launching of Missional Communities, there are naturally a lot of questions. The most common one being, "What exactly is a Missional Community?" Prior to answering that question, it’d be helpful to clarify what a Missional Communities is not.
Not Just A Bible Study Group. For many of us, being in a small group has traditionally been all about studying the Bible. While this is not necessarily a bad thing and all Missional Communities will gather together to obey what the scriptures teach, they are not primarily a small group that meets to study the Bible.
Not Just A Social Group. Relationships are an inescapable reality of any healthy Christian community. Many times we get involved in community only for social reasons, and the Bible never gets studied or people never are led to live on mission. Missional Communities are made up people living out life together under the banner of the gospel. Relationships will be present, but they aren't the primary purpose.
Not Just A Support Group. Naturally, people involved in Missional Communities will experience support as they practice the “one anothers” of the New Testament, but when a Christian community primarily focuses on an individual, the community turns away from the people God has called them on mission to. Missional Communities function as a family, but it can't just be about supporting an individual's needs.
Not Just A Social Activist Group. Missional Communities will gather together and seek to bring about restoration in the city through meeting needs so the Kingdom of God comes to earth, but it’s only a part. A Missional Community cannot just concern themselves with cleaning up parks or feeding the homeless, because they gather together for the purpose of God’s mission: Make Disciples.
Not Just A Meeting. Finally, Missional Communities are not just a weekly meeting. Jesus' relationship with the disciples was a life on life experience. He lived in close proximity with the disciples, so they could visibly see Jesus obey the mission of God the Father. Too often Christians view community as an event they participate in once a week. Missional Communities gather together as a family, so they can wash one another with glorious news of the gospel.
Pastor Jeth Looeny
This is part two of a three part series on what Missional Communities are and how they differ from Community Groups or a traditional small group. Read Part One.