Sometimes people wonder, “Why are you guys structuring yourselves around Missional Communities? What’s the point?” This quote from Gerhard Lohfink’s book Does God Need the Church? expresses it beautifully.
“It can only be that God begins in a small way, at one single place in the world. There must be a place, visible, tangible, where the salvation of the world can begin: that is, where the world becomes what it is supposed to be according to God’s plan. Beginning at that place, the new thing can spread abroad, but not through persuasion, not through indoctrination, not through violence. Everyone must have the opportunity to come and see. All must have the chance to behold and test this new thing. Then, if they want to, they can allow themselves to be drawn into the history of salvation that God is creating. Only in that way can their freedom be preserved. What drives them to the new thing cannot be force, not even moral pressure, but only the fascination of a world that is changed.”
Missional Communities are simply people coming together to become an embodied witness of the reality of the in-breaking kingdom, a “sign, instrument and foretaste of the coming kingdom,” as Lesslie Newbigin called it. They are a place where we can “do church” as a family on mission together. “Church is a family dinner not a restuarant. Expect to participate not be waited on,” in the words of Herbert Cooper.
September 25 we will launch as a network of mid-sized Missional Communities joining God in the renewal of the neighborhoods and networks of Fort Wayne.
(You can take a look at Ben’s blog series “Why I Believe in Mid-Sized Communities” for a lot more information on Missional Communities.)