What is a Missional Community? – On Mission with God

March 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

This is the third installment in the series “What is a Missional Community?”  We have defined a missional community as:

A community of Christ followers on mission with God in obedience to the Holy Spirit that demonstrates tangibly and declares creatively the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a specific pocket of people.

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When we say, “On Mission with God”, we want to be clear about something. God is about bringing glory to His name and establishing His kingdom and reign in the world.  It’s what He’s always been up to throughout redemptive history! 

God is saving and blessing a people through the finished work of Jesus that they would make disciples and bring his kingdom to the world around them.  The life of the community is bound up in participating in God’s mission in the world and making disciples of Jesus.

Most churches would not disagree with us on this particular issue, but when it comes to practically working out what it means to make disciples, everyone has a different definition and strategy.  We believe that mission of making disciples should play out in two primary ways in EVERY community, from large to small, and every individual:

The first way is to “Demonstrate the Gospel Tangibly”. Just as Jesus came demonstrating the kingdom through selfless acts of service, we actively look for opportunities to meet the felt and real needs of our neighbors. We seek to become a blessing to our neighbors, and demonstrate the reality of God’s new kingdom.  When you look at Jesus, however, he did not simply stop at healing and meeting needs.  He consistently spoke a true message of great hope to those whom he encountered.  Just look at the story of the woman at the well: He met her where she was, but through her expressed need he spoke of the true needs of her heart.

Therefore, as communities patterned after Jesus’ life, we “Declare the Gospel Creatively”.  A missional community listens to and understands the stories of their neighbors in order to be able to tell the Gospel Story in ways that are Good News to those specific people.  We want our communities to wrestle with and understand how to speak the good news of Jesus’ perfect life, his sacrificial death, and his resurrection in power are indeed good news to their neighbors.

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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