missional community

Stages of Missional Community Development – Overview

Four Stages of Missional Community

It is our hope at the Austin Stone that each and every person is living on mission to make disciples with other believers, but we know most of our people don’t start here.

Almost every individual and group is somewhere in the transition from being a consumer to being a missionary.  We often begin in our faith journey expecting to have our needs met, but God is gracious and calls us to something far greater – the sacrificial life of a missionary.

In this next series of posts, I am going to reflect on the stages of missional community development.  Many of our missional communities form from groups of people who don’t know one another very well, and we’ve seen a pattern that many of them go through over time.

Each group usually has common problems along the way that require distinct leadership, and we use different coaching points in different circumstances.

The four stages are:

One quick word on our naming convention – these are in no way meant to demean what you call your groups, or presuppose that what you call them is wrong.  You can call a group the pink fuzzy ninja bunnies and be a rockin’ missional community.  These are simply the descriptions we have chosen to describe certain kinds of communities.

What stages of transition have you found as you lead?

By Todd Engstrom

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.

2 replies on “Stages of Missional Community Development – Overview”

Thanks for these posts Todd! I can definitely identify with these. Our group is somewhere in between a small group and team of missionaries. We’ve been meeting for about 10 months and most of that time we functioned like a small group, mostly by default. I’m interested to learn more about how you coach groups through these stages.

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