Missional Community is not something we do; it is an expression of who we are in Christ. What is a Missional Community? It is a group of people seeking to be shaped by the gospel and learning to live on God’s mission together. For us, a missional community is a family of missionary servants committed to growing as disciples of Jesus Christ and making new disciples in all of life. Understanding this changes everything. However, the danger in forming missional communities is that we would rush too quickly to methodology (the how). But a healthy missional community life starts with theology—who we are in Christ because of what God has done for us.
Over the next several weeks we will take a close look at Romans 12. Our goal is to learn from Paul the marks of a healthy missional community. Why the book of Romans? As I have studies this massive book I have notice several things that I believe are necessary for us—especially as we multiply our missional community.
1. The church in Rome was most likely a network of smaller household churches or missional communities. If this is true, what better letter could we possible learn from as we aim to be a network of missional communities throughout Forsyth County? The clues can be found at the beginning and end of Paul’s letter. He begins his letter with a general greeting, “to all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.” Notice that Paul does not greet “the church in Rome” in a focused sense but only as “beloved by God and called to be saints.” Then at the end of his letter, Paul expresses his greetings no less than sixteen times indicating at least sixteen distinct clusters or missional communities. So the letter to the church in Rome was a letter sent to a network of missional communities.
2. In Romans 12, Paul paints a portrait of a healthy missional community. A people rooted in the gospel living in community on mission to make disciples who make disciples. Over the next few weeks we will press into Romans 12 and see the characteristic of a healthy missional community.
Questions to think about as we enter into this series:
- In what ways does your missional community display the gospel not just as a message to be believed, but a power to be experienced (Romans 1:16)?
- In what ways does your missional community resemble a community of those who were formerly God’s enemies but are now reconciled to him (Romans 5:8) and adopted into his family (Galatians 4:4-7)?
- In what ways does your missional community reflect the truth that the church is not a place, but a people—a community that is continually being reformed and renewed by the transforming power of the gospel (Colossians 1:6)?