Missional Field Notes

Quotes, Examples, and Ideas from My Missional Frontier

We’ve talked about missional groups in our own setting. And we’ve talked a lot about it here and on my personal blog, http://www.jimdoepken.com. And yet, when talking with laypersons and clergy, there are still misconceptions over what a missional community really is.

Ramon Mayo has a list of some of the things missional communities ARE NOT over at Multiply Vineyard. Here’s his list:

1. Missional communities are not overgrown small groups.

2. Missional communities are not gripe sessions.

3. Missional communities are not void of the gospel.

4. Missional communities are not replacements for traditional models of church.

5. Missional communities are not unstructured

I think the first one, about missional communities being different than big small groups is important. There is a very different function with looking outward that is found in missional communities. And, in terms of the last one, I have found missional communities to be highly structured because there is a goal in sight which means it’s not just about sitting and enjoying one another’s company.

You can read the whole post over at Multiply Vineyard.

5 thoughts on “Missional Communities ARE NOT…

  1. Dave H. says:

    #4 is a question I’m not settled on yet. Why not? I ask myself. Or, why is our traditional model the standard? Where is that model in the Bible? Where is any model in the Bible? I believe #5 to be true, but not necessarily in the form of #4. On the flip side, God clearly uses and blesses churches in the traditional model, so how do we feel about this? Does that make it the only way, the right way?

    1. jimdoepken says:

      I’m with you in assessing #4. I think the real problem with the traditional model is that, in many cases, it has lost the sense of “sentness” in the world…getting too comfortable with the “attractional” model in a time where attractional doesn’t seem to work the same way, particularly in outside of the mega-churches. But we might be able to overcome some of the difficulties by having the “traditional” church be more missional in its community — maybe without reorganizing into missional communities. I don’t know. I am such a novice at this and my thinking on it it more refined than my practice of it.

      1. Dave H. says:

        I empathize with your feeling of being a novice. (In fact, I hope I will always feel this way before the Truth.) We’ve been engaged in “home church” for going on two years now, and only after starting did I learn that we resembled a missional community due to the way God was leading us. I did find however, that I tend to want to overthink this subject, and make church into a particular mold, be it missional community, traditional church, what have you. I’ve found rest in letting the Spirit lead us step by step into his will, rather than picking a scheme and trying to cram all of us into it. Then, whatever it looks like at the end, or on any given meeting day for that matter, it is exactly what is should be. And I can be content with not knowing everything all at once. If I impose my vision on us I end up shouldering Jesus off to the side. So, I preach Jesus, the gospel, the church, and let him work out his will in our hearts while I pray for grace to live the example of what I’m saying. If I want it to look different because I see it in the Bible, then I have to be it, and that means, for me/us, rejecting some things and accepting others when it comes to church organization/structure.

        That said, I don’t know what I don’t know, so only God knows how my thinking might change on this as I grow. I do know that I greatly appreciate your effort of collecting these quotes, anecdotes, and articles, as they’ve encouraged and enlightened me greatly. Yes, the bottom line is, regardless of structure, that we need to know who we are and why we’re here: we are sent to do.

      2. jimdoepken says:

        yup

      3. Dave H. says:

        Ha… sometimes I get a bit “wordy.”

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