WHY MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES?
At the Austin Stone, we recently sent out a series of posts to our people on the topic of Missional Communities. In sharing these posts, our hope is that they will help you understand our church and the calling that God has given us. In the next five weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to read a few short posts on:
- Why “Missional Communities”?
- The definition and practices of MCs
- The practices of MC: 3rd Place
- The practices of MC: Life Transformation Groups
- The practices of MC: Family Meeting
- Missional Communities: Overview
God’s Mission is Our Mission
We are passionate about the glory of God because God is passionate for His glory. No one has lived more singularly for God’s glory than Jesus. Jesus lived, died, and rose again to uphold God’s justice in graciously saving sinners, gathering worshipers for God.
Before He went to be with the Father, Jesus gave His followers the plan to bring more glory to God: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV). So now, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we continue this mission to gather more disciples and teach them to obey Jesus.
We believe this mission was given not just to the apostles, pastors, and leaders; it was given to every Christian. God has called every believer to the mission of glorifying God by making disciples.
As God’s people creatively declare and tangibly demonstrate the gospel, God saves and transforms individuals, families, neighborhoods, and – we pray – even an entire city. We want to see Austin filled with saved, changed, disciple-making worshipers.
Why Missional Communities?
This work of God happens as communities of believers live out their identity as missionaries together throughout the city. More than merely going about their lives in the city, believers fully engage, empowered by the Spirit to bear witness to God’s goodness.
Churches and Sunday gatherings are valuable to maintain sound doctrine, forward momentum, vision, missional culture, and godly leaders. However, discipleship happens in everyday community life, rather than only in Sunday gatherings. In our communities, unbelievers and believers alike hear God’s Word and are challenged to repent, believe, and obey.
We believe in MCs because our communities are the best place to make disciples who worship and honor God to the praise of His glorious grace. In order to do this, we’ll need a good definition of MC and a set of practices to clarify what we’re doing. We’ll do that in the next post.
Interested in learning more about missional communities? Check out the Austin Stone Institute. Get theological training and practical experience through a variety of internships and residencies.