Vision for a Missional Community

With this recent talk about churches and family integration I wanted to share with you this beautiful picture of  Christian community. It’s something that we’ve seen and been blessed to be part of in the past. It is the vision of what we want to be part of once more:

What is a Missional Community?”

Every Christian should read it because if we don’t know what we should be aiming for, we won’t hit it.  Christians loving, knowing and caring for each other as family (’cause we are family). Making time for each other in their day to day lives, not just for an hour or so on Sunday morning and reaching out and impacting the communities where God has placed them. This is more beautiful and healing than you can imagine.

While we’re talking about this, you’ll want to watch this two minute video about elder qualifications. Because a church won’t outgrow it’s leadership, but a church will follow the examples that it’s leader set.

If you see a church where the leaders are actively involved in the lives of the members (not just a quick “how are you doing” visit on Sunday morning but really involved in investing their time into the lives of those in their congregation) and the lives of those in the surrounding community, leaders who are committed to sacrificially loving and serving (Mark 10:42-45) people, you will see a church that is heading toward being a ‘missional community’ and trust me, that is something of which you want to be a part.

Are you part of a missional community? Do you have a vision for creating one?

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15 Responses to Vision for a Missional Community
  1. JoyFilledMom
    August 10, 2011 | 9:00 am

    My ps is an awesome example. He is out in the community, serving, giving so much and our entire ps staff does…and the church serves the entire DFW commuity & beyond. I never thought about the reason that our church does it is because the ps is not the ‘Glad you’re here; come again next wk’ kind of man. It makes perfect sense though.

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  2. abba12
    August 10, 2011 | 9:25 am

    I think my church is as close to this vision as a mainstream, mid-sized church can get. But I get the feeling it’s talking about something smaller than church, and this is where we struggle. We travel a half hour to attend our church, and with my husbands long hours and my inability to drive, plus shyness from being hurt and used in the past, we don’t see our church family outside of sundays.

    We only have one close christian friend that we see a lot of (like, 2 or 3 times a week >_< lol, I've oft thought he may as well move in here) and I like to think we come close to this relationship with him, but it's kind of more a partnership 😀 Plus, for me, as a woman, there are certain barriers. I strongly believe christian women can have close male friends (so long as these friends are also as close with her husband. Andrew and I don't really have 'his' friends and 'my' friends.) but theres still certain things I can't say, certain needs he can't meet, either from lack of understanding or inappropriatness.

    I trust God to put people in our paths, and we have only attended our current church a short while, I like to think we will develop friendships through it in the future, and become a real part of the church community, instead of still trying to remember everyones names!

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  3. Sarah Stinnett
    August 10, 2011 | 9:40 am

    God is so amazing!!! I was just sharing with a sister not too long ago that I love our church but I feel like we are missing something – We are not in each others lives in a way that we can follow through on the accountability that we so desparatly need. I don’t think this christian life that we lead so separated is what Christ intended. This is exactly what my heart is desiring!!! Thank you for sharing – now I can pass this on and hopefully people will see that I am not putting down what relationships we do have I just really want more of it!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I think that your experience is common.

    People in today’s society are so involved with so many things that is becomes difficult or impossible to have the time to really ‘know’ the people in our church FAMILY. I think it’s a function of the wrong priorities of the world creeping into Christian families and then spilling over into the life of the church.

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    Sarah Stinnett Reply:

    God is certainly adjusting my perspective of church – what it is supposed to be and why I am supposed to be there – Just listened to a sermon from David Platt and he said “the church is not primarily a place of ministry it’s a base for sending out ministers” I have just attended church in the past and done good things but the focus was on me and really church is where I need to go to be trained to disciple my children, reach the lost, care for the widows and orphans the ministry should happen when I leave. I love the body I am apart of so I am praying that God will lead others to want to be apart of a missional community and reach those around us. This is just really exciting!

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  4. Nicki
    August 10, 2011 | 9:59 am

    I think you just described my little country church! Everyone there is like a family, all week long. And our pastor is the number one servant in the church! He and his family will be filling in for the cleaning crew while they’re out of town this week: voluntarily! That’s the way he is. The whole church is this way. I don’t know, but I think the smaller, the better.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I love hearing about congregations like this. From my experience there are more and more Christians working toward this goal and more churches becoming more like a family of believers. Praise God!

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  5. Diana
    August 10, 2011 | 1:39 pm

    I think this is a start in the right direction but there IS more. Sarah, said “in each others lives”, Nicki, said, “smaller is better”.
    This is what the early church was.
    Paul said it this way in I Cor. 14:26, “So here’s what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight.” (Message)

    This means that we all have something to give and encourage others with. We learn from the Word, and are accountable to each other. It also means to be like the early church we will have to change somethings and become less passive as a community of believers.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Diana,

    Sometimes God uses a simple word to have a profound impact. Often that comes after a heart/mind has been prepared by many other words, experiences and prayers.

    God used your reference to 1 Cor. 14:26 in this way. I had never read the passage with this perspective.

    Thank you.

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  6. Shannon
    August 10, 2011 | 2:57 pm

    Smaller churches should have an advantage in this area, but not all even try. I think mine does well, they are working on it. One of our elders had been our preacher until he was offered a position to lead a group in working in the community at our local hospitals, not as a preacher but to minister. Our new preacher makes sure to visit any member hospitalized, or just in need of company. We have a weekly meal at church before Wed class, and at least once a month after Sunday morning services, with many other activities planned through each month, even in the summer and not just around holidays.
    I do know a large church of over 500 that solves the nubers problem by placing members into smaller home study groups. These groups are suppose to act as you described a missional community.
    I feel very blessed in my congregation and hope others feel the same in theirs.

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  7. Ashley
    August 11, 2011 | 12:27 am

    We just moved away from the most tight-knit community. Most of the church congregation is related in some way, so it makes for nice spring-board to have service and family orientedness. We will find the same values in our new church family as our gospel is the same throughout the world. I am excited to become part of this new family!
    Having all unpaid leadership positions itself leads to an outpouring of service by all. It’s ALL voluntary and I know that by just having the desire you’re partway there!
    Just last night, we had at least 50 members of our church family together working on repairing a widow’s house. As we worked on cleaning, replacing her roof and painting inside and out, we all marvelled at the fact that this was too much fun to be “work”! Along with this week of service, we have a humanitarian drive, twice a month visits to each family and sister by other members, meals for the sick and postpartum, fast and prayer days for the sick, weekly meetings with the youth…and that’s not counting the countless hours that go into leadership, teaching and preaching! God is good! I am so proud to be part of a missional community! Thank you for the inspiration to keep improving!

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  8. Marie
    August 11, 2011 | 7:04 pm

    About the elder video….who does the assessing/decision making?…..a pastor, or the other elders, or maybe congregational representatives?

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    In a Presbyterian form of government the elders are the decision making body. The pastor is one of the elders with the same (not more) authority as all the other elders.

    Some of the decisions the elders make are approved by the congregation (pastor’s call, for example), but not most.

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  9. Ashley
    August 17, 2011 | 10:24 pm

    I know I’m late commenting on this post but I hope you’ll still see it! A friend of mine “liked” Raising Olives on Facebook tonight and as I read through your blog I discovered you’re in Knoxville! We just moved into this area (Maryville actually) and are really struggling to find a church. We keep getting shocked about how churches feel about children…almost requiring nursery as if the parent can’t choose otherwise. Anyway, one of my good friends is in Washington studying with Soma Communities now. Have you found a church like this in the Knoxville area? If you have any suggestions for us I would so appreciate it! We have three littles (4, 2 and 3 months). Thank you so much! (I would have emailed but couldn’t find an address.)

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Ashley,

    I emailed you privately.

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