Hugh Halter: What is a missional community? | PRINTABLE

We asked some of the leading thinkers and practitioners to answer 7 of the most frequently asked questions about missional communities. Also, make sure to use and follow the Twitter hashtag #7questions to keep up with the conversation!

Question #1: What is a missional community?

Other answers from: Neil Cole | Mike Breen | Alan Hirsch | Felicity Dale | JR Woodward | Jeff Vanderstelt

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Hugh Halter is the national director of Missio, serving as a mentor to a global network of missional leaders and church planters. He is lead architect of Adullam, a congregational network of missional communities in Denver, Colorado, and is the coauthor of The Tangible Kingdom with Matt Smay. Twitter: @hughhalter.

Question #1: What is a missional community?

Hugh Halter:

One of the greatest blessings in Adullam, (our network of missional communities in Denver), is to pray a prayer of sending over handfuls of people who are about to embark on starting new missional communities. It may not seem that unique but it is in this experience I find the true meaning of a missional community: THEY ARE SENT.

From Genesis 12, the first missional community led by Abraham, was called by God to leave their comfort zone and go to a foreign culture for the purpose of bringing and being the blessing of God to the whole world.

Whereas our normal church experience unconsciously calls us out of the world and creates an inward or self-oriented form of faith, a missional community is exactly the opposite. Missional communities are intentional webs of relationships bound together for the express purpose of bringing to light the Kingdom of God to those outside the faith.

One focus however is not just being sent into the culture, but also why we’re sent and what we do in our sent-ness. Going back to Genesis 12, we’re sent to be a blessing and a blessing means the tangible touch of God in real life. Thus, a missional community, although they will see evangelistic fruit, is focused first on helping their friends, neighborhood, and network of relationships feel God’s love. They help, they support, they advocate, serve, encourage, love, and keep doing it without any strings attached.

Maybe the most simplistic way to define a missional community is as a missionary community. Just like you might live and focus your time and energy in a foreign culture, learning, listening, and responding to the needs you see around you, so it is with a missional community here in your back yard.

What will it take to get one started? Friends who love the lost as much as you do and who are committed to live in relative proximity so that you can architect your schedules around the needs of the culture.

What do you think about Hugh’s definition of missional community? What other questions does this leave you with? Join the conversation in the comment section below: