We asked some of the leading thinkers and practitioners to answer 7 of the most frequently asked questions about missional communities. Use the Twitter hashtag #7questions to keep up with the conversation!
Question #1: What is a missional community?
1. Neil Cole
The church is not sent on a mission by God, rather God is on a mission and the church is called to join him. This is an important distinction, as much of what the church is about is trying to do stuff for God instead of letting Him do stuff through us.
2. 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.
3. Mike Breen
Often times people use the phrase missional community” to describe the state of a group of people. It’s descriptive. The question seems to be, “Is this community missional?” Or, as Neil Cole says, “Is this community joining the mission that God is already doing?” Are we existing as a sent people?.
4. Alan Hirsch
I have a constant refrain now that goes something like this: that many of the problems of that the church now faces can be actually be resolved simply by thinking differently about the church and its God-designed mission in the world. In other words, by changing our metaphors, or paradigms of church, we can change the game.
All over the world God is using intentionally small and rapidly multiplying families of his people to bring extraordinary numbers of people into the Kingdom. Here in the United States, unless the Lord intervenes, we are only a generation away from being a post-Christian nation.
6. JR Woodward
To understand what a missional community is, we must first ask the who question. The moment we begin to think of a missional community as simply a combination of different activities or functions, we can be seduced into placing too much confidence in our own strategies instead of simply being who God has made us.
A Missional Community is a Family of Missionary Servants who make Disciples who make Disciples. Family: First of all a missional community is a group of believers who live and experience life together like a family.
A community of Christians, on mission with God in obedience to the Holy Spirit, who demonstrate tangibly and declare creatively the gospel of Jesus Christ to a pocket of people.