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What is a Missional Community?
Missional Communities are the primary stream of life at Remedy Church. They are the context where life happens during the week as we live out our purpose as a church, following Jesus together and teaching others to do the same.
To simply define it, a Missional Community is a spiritual family who lives on mission together. But a living thing composed of real people and real lives can hardly be contained within a definition. Missional Communities are the primary vehicle for discipleship, care, support, mission, and most anything else that happens as Remedy Church.
Missional Communities gather regularly to spend time together, care for each other, encourage and challenge each other, talk about where scripture and life intersect, pray, and learn to live on-mission in community. Missional Communities are not an add-on to the church, one of many programs. They are at the center of everything we do, the heartbeat of Remedy.
A Missional Community is a people.
A church is not a weekly gathering, a building, or a host of programs. A church is a people. A Missional Community is the same. It’s not a weekly gathering or another name for a small group or Bible study. A Missional Community is a people. Just like we wouldn’t say, “I have my family tonight,” but instead would say, “My family is coming over tonight,” when you think of Missional Community we want you to think about faces and rhythms of life together, not meetings or a night of the week.
A Missional Community is not something you do or a time when you meet–it’s a people.
When, where, and for how long do they meet?
To answer this question we have to remember that a Missional Community is a spiritual family. So the rhythms of a Missional Community resemble the rhythms of a family. Families have structured, planned times and natural, unplanned times. Both are necessary for a healthy family to function.
Missional Communities gather on various nights and times, depending on the makeup of the people. Each Missional Community generally has some regularly scheduled weekly gathering with other get-togethers happening throughout the week. The regular weekly times meet in homes, usually for around an hour and a half to two hours.
Because life in a family happens more than just around a weekly, scheduled gathering, each Missional Community finds themselves gathering at other times throughout the week. Moms and kids may get together for play dates. Men may watch a game together. Some will gather for Bible study and prayer. Families may get together to cook out. Families will serve together. It’s all part of life together in community.
What happens in a typical gathering?
No gathering is typical because no Missional Community is the same. They are organic, they take on the nature of their people, and they flow with the seasons of life.
Some Missional Communities eat every week. Some don’t. Some study the Bible and talk about the sermons every week–some do it every other week. Some meet in separate ladies and guys groups. Some stay mostly coed. Some have lots of kids. Some have none. Because the people are different, what typically happens in each Missional Community varies.
Having said that, there are six elements we strive to accomplish in every Missional Community:
- Praying and listening to God together
- Pursuing Bible-saturated spiritual growth
- Eating together
- Bearing each other’s burdens
- Focusing on an area of mission
- Inviting others in
When, where, and how these things happen varies by Missional Community.
Who leads a Missional Community?
Every group is led by carefully selected and trained leaders. These leaders are responsible for giving direction to the group and serving as shepherds who guide the group. But these leaders are not the only leaders of the group. They serve as guides.
We are a family, which means everyone is a contributor. Every member of a Missional Community is expected to participate and contribute. The varied giftings of each member of a Missional Community are part of its strength. There are gifts of hosting, serving, teaching, inviting, listening, and caring in every group of people, and when we leverage those together for the Kingdom, we are much stronger and we grow much faster. That’s the reality of a family.
What about kids?
The whole family is part of the Missional Community. That includes the kids. Bring your kids with you and allow them to participate in various elements of the group. The best way for kids to learn to pray, engage scripture, live in community with other believers, and live on-mission is by watching and doing it with their parents.
Each Missional Community has the freedom to decide exactly what to do with their own kids. Some elements are great for kids to be part of. Others maybe not so much. It may also change from week to week. Exactly how to handle kids is up to each MC to decide, and the group leader will help facilitate this decision.
One thing we want to be clear on is that kids are an important part of the family. Involving them in the life of the community is by far the best way for parents to train and disciple them, and they add to the overall life and vibrancy the Missional Community.
Who can be involved?
Anyone can be involved in a Missional Community. Covenant members of Remedy are expected to be part of one, but you don’t have to be a long-time attender or a covenant member to participate. Missional Communities are the best place for new people to get connected and the best way to experience the community of Remedy. Our goal is for everyone who is part of Remedy to be part of a Missional Community.
Can I bring my friends?
Absolutely. In fact, we encourage you to bring someone with you to experience gospel community and connect with the people of Remedy. And your friends are also invited to bring their kids. We love kids.
How do I get connected to a Missional Community?
The best way is to go with someone you know or to ask someone at Remedy about theirs. If you don’t know anyone who is currently in a Missional Community, contact Aaron and he will help you get connected to one.
We hope to see you soon!
Another story from Renovation Church in Atlanta.