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How is a missional community different than a small group, Sunday school class, support group, social activist group, etc.?
Great question! And a loaded one. Rather than type out a long answer, check out these two short videos:
When do missional communities meet?
First, please understand that missional community is not a weekly meeting. They're our attempt to live as the family of God. Most of us wouldn't define our family as a weekly meeting, and we don't want to do that with our missional community either. It's part of who we are as a result of the gospel. We don't go to missional community. We are a missional community.
That being said, our missional communities do gather at LEAST weekly (and hopefully much more than that). However, what we do varies from week to week. We encourage our missional communities to live by a monthly rhythm so that somewhere in the course of a month they have:
Gathered together as family to eat and share life
Gathered together to share with one another what they're learning and what God is doing in their life
Gathered together to pray specifically for their defined mission field
Demonstrated the gospel in a tangible and intentional way to their defined mission field
How do I choose a missional community?
Missional communities are our attempt to live as the family of God and body of Christ. That's a technical way of saying we really value relationships and mission. Therefore, we would encourage you to choose your missional community based on either:
Relationships - people that live near you or people you know, or
Mission - a particular neighborhood or network of people.
Is there a missional community that meets near me?
We hope soon to have a map available of all our missional communities and where they meet. For now, fill out the form located here and a leader will contact you with more information about when and where our missional communities normally meet.
What about my kids?
We view missional community in the same way we view extended family (except, we actually like to hang out with our missional community). You wouldn't exclude your kids from ever seeing their aunts and uncles, and we don't want to exclude them from missional community life either. We think it's important for our kids to see us living on mission, to see us living in community, and even to see us growing in our walk with the Lord. However, that doesn't mean we include them in everything we do. Occasionally, we feel like it's also important for us to gather without kids. When that happens, we all chip in for childcare reimbursement. Talk to your missional community leader about a reimbursement form.
Can I start a missional community?
Okay, we admit this is a question we wish people asked more often. The short answer is YES! We just need you to answer a few simple questions:
Are you committed to Christ? Our primary goal is to make disciples of Jesus. You can't make other disciples unless you're first a disciple yourself.
Do you have a clear mission vision? In other words, who are you trying to reach? Is it a particular neighborhood? Is it a particular group of people? Misional communities are organized around mission. Therefore, it's essential that you have one.
Will you be accountable? Being a leader requires a great deal of humility. We want our leaders to have the same mindset of Jesus "who although He existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant."
Can you gather people? We will do our best to promote your missional community and direct people your way when relevant, but ultimately you're responsible for recruiting people to help you accomplish your God-given mission.