The origins of the Missional Community idea are found in Acts chapter 2 in the scriptures that show a community responding to the good news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection by being devoted to God, devoted to one another, and devoted to including their friends and neighbors in the good news.

Ultimately Missional Community is about principles more than it is about exact practicals. The various definitions and forms that happen all over the country and world all carry the same principles but are practically lived out differently depending on leadership and context.

Those primary principles appear to be:

1. Gospel Identity: Everyone in the world lives defined by a certain identity. For the church & those in missional communities, that identity is found as someone saved by Jesus Christ’s work, not our efforts, and then sent as missionaries into the world. We’re not just blessed by God in Christ, we are also meant to be a blessing to others. We are missionaries because God is a missionary and we get to represent what He is like.

2. Community on Mission: Missional Communities is an acknowledgement that our salvation is not an individual, “me & my God” thing, but we are saved into a family or community that cares for one another and serves others together. When a community receives good news, it shares good news.

3. Gather around Mission: The missional community gathers around a specific evangelistic mission. Whether that’s a specific affinity group that everyone cares for or a geographic area where they live, each community has a specific group of people they want to extend the love of Christ to & serve them with the deeds of Christ. I’ve recently seen a greater emphasis on proximity rather than affinity.

4. Discipleship is the key to sustainability: In the past, churches relied on a singular dynamic leader & in some instances that is still the case, but missional communities focuses on enabling every person to be a missionary & minister (or leader) in serving other people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Missional communities will only be as missional as their discipleship. Are they creating & enabling more people to be leaders? Are they making it simple & transferable? If not, it won’t last.

5. Multiplication: The goal of a missional community is not to grow large in numbers of people, but to create new expressions of community & compassionate mission. They see as their end, multiplying into many communities and spreading the gracious message of Jesus to as many people as possible.


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