Missional Community Practices

March 26, 2013 — 4 Comments

The next series I want to work through are the practices of missional communities.  I’ve worked through why The Austin Stone pursues missional communities, and how we define them, and now I want to get to the nuts and bolts of what we actually do.

Briefly, missional communities at The Austin Stone:

The video below is a story of a missional community from our church that has been living these practices out:

I’ll unpack these in the coming posts – what are the practices you have found useful to cultivate in missional community life?

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.

4 responses to Missional Community Practices

  1. Excellent! Really enjoyed this. Love y’all, Austin Stone!

  2. Thanks Tom…glad to hear it’s been helpful!

  3. Todd–Thank you! You have no idea how valuable your blog has been. It has been my primary resource along with the writings and teachings of Michael Frost and others. Thank you for this blog! It just makes it so easy to present the concepts to others on the leadership team.

    As a little background–we’ve just begun the process of transitioning our 350/week church in the Glendale/Burbank/Pasadena area of L.A. into MCs, and I’m leading the charge. We are a purpose-driven church but realized long ago that mission is our weakest purpose. We spent two years implementing Nelson Searcy’s “ignite” concepts of big events that attract the community, which have been very effective, but we always felt like something was missing. It wasn’t until discovering the concept of MCs did we realize that our ‘small group’ ministry not being a part of our “mission” purpose was the primary problem–we were a church of “community groups” as you define them.

    I’ve told our staff that it’s a 5-7 year transition to set expectations. We then took stock of all of our existing ‘small groups’ and assessed the groups as a whole, picking 5 of our 16 small groups who seemed most receptive to receive the vision. Each of these 5 groups are “small groups” as you define them–ready to become an MC but needing practical training. In other words, we have our test group.

    Currently we’re presenting the vision and practicalities of MCs to the church staff and leadership, and once they approve, we will begin meeting with each of the 5 target small group leaders to cast vision and get them on board. Then we will begin training each of their small groups, one at a time.

    Without your blog, I would have charged ahead and thought I could make this transition happen much more quickly. It would not have been pretty. Thanks again for your heart to serve all of us out here in the trenches of ministry trying to impact our communities!

    • Scott,
      Thanks so much for sharing this, and I’m glad to hear this writing has been helpful to you! May God’s grace be all the more evident as you lead your church towards faithfulness to Christ!
      Todd

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