- How do you begin launching missional communities in practice?
- Can this be done through our already existing relational networks?
- What intentional focus will give us the greatest return?
- Is there a way of doing this that builds our life together — our extended family dynamic — while being fully open to new faces joining us at any point?
All great questions – and all ones that many sharp leaders are asking!
Relationships: The Key To Launching Missional Communities
Let me give a narrative response to these questions. This is rooted in the life of a fabulous college town church, Brookside Church in Bowling Green OH. My friend Kevin Crawford is the Lead Teaching Pastor, and this week he sent me a great email including some of their latest news about how they are successfully launching missional communities.
Locally Brookside have just begun referring to them as Community Groups, which are defined as being
A family of disciples of Jesus sent to bless a pocket of people.
Lived out in the everyday, we can identify some excellent attributes here, notably a:
- Specific mission vision (a defined ‘pocket of people’) — this is something specific, rather than some vague generalization
- Clear discipleship focus (each group is clear that it is there ‘to give lift and love’ to their pocket of people)
- Enticing invitation into a family, as the expression of their united identity — the idea of oikos, an extended relational ‘family’, connected by Christ around a shared mission vision
- Smart mix of both formal meetings and informal hanging out
- Unashamed atmosphere of fun — lots of parties are being thrown!
- Pragmatic view of hospitality, so that everyone contributes, does the dishes, and contributes!
- Drive to mission, even in something as simple as choosing to go out to local restaurants in order to meet others and demonstrate the life in their life together
- Willingness to support and care for one another through troubles and trials, whether that is emotional support, fixing roofs, caring for the sick, or watching the kids
- Creativity in prayer, such as with the group text list to share prayer requests and burdens
Watch The Video
Here’s a 5 minute video report from Brookside on their Community Groups:
What one thing is Jesus speaking to you about from Brookside’s story of launching missional communities? How are you going to put that into practice in your missional context?
Want More On This?
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