Unpacking Missional Communities: Part 1
In an effort to help establish common lanugage and explain the way we do ministry at Doxa, we're releasing a 3-part series on Missional Communities. We'll unpack a bit on what they are, what they do, and how they differ from what most people think of when they picture a small group. Below is part one of this series.
WHAT IS A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY?
A Missional Community (“MC”) is a group or family of servant missionaries living life on life, life in community, and life on mission in order to make disciples who make disciples. It’s more than a Bible study, it’s different than a community group, it’s actually how we see ourselves as the church of Jesus Christ.
As Jeff Vanderstelt says in his book, Saturate: “Without Jesus, we were dead in our sins and by nature children of wrath. We were enemies of God because of our sinful rebellion against him. There was a time when we couldn’t come to God with personal knowledge of his love and acceptance of us. But God is full of mercy, and he changed everything for us through Jesus (Eph. 2:1-6). God showed his love for us in that while we were enemies, he gave his Son to die for us, to make us his dearly loved children (Rom. 5:8, 8:14-17). We have been adopted into God’s family so that we are now co-heirs with Jesus Christ. We have been born again by his Spirit, making us the true children of God (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8).”
Jesus is the king of kings and lord of lords (Rev 17:14). He came to earth that we might enter (Matt. 25:34, Mark 10:24) and receive (Luke 12:32; Mark 10:14, Luke 6:20) the kingdom of God. Those you put their faith in Christ are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). As citizens of King Jesus’ kingdom, we are his servants. Where we go and what we do is meant to reflect who He is and what He is like. While on earth, King Jesus showed us that he himself would take the form of a servant (Philippians 2:5-7) and give his life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). And so now we, because we have been ransomed by Jesus’ sacrificial service are now freed to be his servants (Romans 6:22).
We believe God the Father sent God the Son (John 17:25) and that God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit (John 16:7) and that Jesus now sends the children of God with the Spirit of God (John 20:21-22) to do the work of God (Matt. 28:19-20). We are the sent ones (i.e. missionaries) of God with work that he has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Why mission and discipleship?
We keep mission and discipleship as the bullseye. When these are the goal, rather than baptisms or conversion prayers prayed or sunday attendance, the playing field is leveled and we all have a role. In MC’s lost souls will take baby steps of obedience toward Christ and seasoned saints will take leaps of faith, because as long as we have a pulse, he isn’t done with us yet!
Stay tuned for part two in this series where we'll look at how missional communities differ from traditional small groups or community groups.