As the early church so clearly demonstrated, mission is best done in community. Our missional communities are meant to have a deeply attractive quality about them, offering relationships and service that are both highly challenging and also hugely invitational, where anyone can pop their head in, be welcomed and loved, and choose their speed of movement towards our Lord.
We have found that by forming mid-sized communities, which grow to between twenty to fifty people of all ages and are focused on reaching a specific neighborhood or network of relationships, high quality community is formed.
That kind of open-edged group can often be the easiest on-ramp into experiencing what it means to follow Jesus in this crazy busy world of ours.
That kind of extended family is the perfect place for children to be nurtured towards maturity as fully valued members of the community.
That kind of Kingdom expression is a dynamic place for followers of Jesus to be stretched and deepened in their faith.
It’s no longer mission or community, going or growing, serving or deepening. The truth that Jesus modeled and the early church echoed is that mission is best done in community (“Come join us as you are!”), and community grows deepest when we live on mission (“How can we best represent Christ in this place?”).
As we look towards our Lenten discipline here, I’d love for my folks to see and understand this image of what kind of community a missional community can be. I long for this.