Missional Communities are a form of church grown among unreached people and places.
They come in all shapes and sizes, but here are 5 examples:
In the New Testament, Paul often refers to a household (oikos) as the centre of activity for the people of God (ekklesia). A household was the family living in a particular home and all those linked relationally and professionally with that household. (For example, the close friends, the servants and soldiers in Cornelius’ home in Acts 10.)
Today, we see similar ‘households’ driving missional activity forward in the Church – a core family or group of friends who draw in those around them, usually around one or two homes, who are committed to the mission of God in a particular area, or among a particular people. Households will usually develop into one of the other types of missional community below, but, in some circumstances, may stay simply as a household of Jesus Followers who practice open house hospitality and relational evangelism.
A simple church can develop when a household draws a wider group of Christians around them to live missionally. Simple churches are usually a group of 10 – 20 people who believe in sharing the good news of Jesus through friendship.
They will often have a focus on communal meals, simple bible studies, everyday spiritual disciplines and outreach in third spaces (cafes and pubs etc.).
Discipleship movements develop when a household seeks to devote all their energy to intentionally sharing the good news of Jesus with unbelievers through a process of prayer, seeking people of peace and planting churches indigenously through discovery bible studies.
An entrepreneur community happens when a household feels called to start a business or project together as the focus of their mission. This might be a social entrepreneurship, a charity, or a creative project.
Network Missional Communities happen when a household draws in community around a shared interest or activity. Whether it be a sports team or club, people involved in business, the arts, knitters, dog walkers, a book club, or whatever, networks are communities that can become transformative.
In London, we are an emerging network connected by relationships and an impetus to go and make disciples.
We are communities in the Church of England led by pioneers, some ordained and some not.
We look to create spaces, gatherings and learning circles for anyone looking to pioneer, plant and grow disciples.
Some may call it missional community, some Simple Church, some Households on Mission. We look different according to context but we share an organic identity that looks to send, make and grow followers of Jesus.
These are just 5 of the ways we’ve observed in our day to day work that missional communities are emerging across London. Of course these ‘types’ tend to be blurry at the edges, and are probably (hopefully!) not all we’ll see in the coming months. We’re an experimental network, and are therefore very open to whatever God is up to!