One of the main projects I’m currently working on is our training for Missional Community leaders. It’s been a good process for me, having to work through lots of things like what it means to lead and shepherd, how to articulate the gospel in a simple way, and what holistic gospel community looks like.
In this process, and in discussions with some in our church, it seems to be wise to clarify what a missional community is, specifically at Remedy. At the risk of being too simplistic, here are a few excerpts from the training I’ve been working on:
A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY IS:
- a smaller group of people,
- doing life closely,
- around the gospel,
- with disciple-making intentionality.
The primary purpose of a Missional Community is to be what the larger body cannot effectively be. As a church grows it begins to lose some of its personal nature and identity as a family, and that in turn drags some other essential elements down with it. Disciple-making, mission, relationships, and life happen most naturally and effectively in smaller groups. Missional Communities are designed to be the primary expression of these essential elements of the church.
A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY IS NOT
- A Bible study
- A support group
- A social club
- An activist group
- A weekly meeting
Actually, a Missional Community is all of these things. The difference is that it is not only one of these things or even primarily one of these things. All of these things happen in gospel communities who live on mission with each other, and at times, some elements may be more needed than others. A healthy group will find the nature of their community reflecting the rhythms and seasons of life.
Basically, a Missional Community is a gospel community on mission in a small group context. Missional Communities function like mini-churches within the larger church. Members of the group care for, counsel, challenge, and encourage each other. The leader shepherds the group under the leadership and accountability of the Remedy leaders. The whole group functions like a family, doing life, growing, and looking for ways to live out the gospel together.
Maybe that brings a little clarity. Thoughts?