A Missional Short List
In my previous post, Matt asked this great question and one where I have only a little insight, so I’m hoping others will jump in here, particularly any of you have done church planting or have been involved in one.
Matt asked, “I struggle with what a missional church ‘looks like.’ Can you give a short list of practical ways a church can be missional from the beginning.”
Here is my short list of the practical ways a faith community can be missional from the beginning:
- Select carefully those that will form your core group. If they are not committed to engaging the culture in a “go to them” life, then they would not be part of my core group.
- Don’t make the Sunday gathering your organizational focus. If you spend most of your money, peoples time and emotional resources on the Sunday gathering, you’ll have little to devote to community engagement.
- Your Sunday gathering should be for the purpose of worship, encouragement, story telling, teaching, training, and to seek God’s presence and to be realigned with God’s missionary purpose. It should not be focused on the needs of the not-yet-Christian.
- Plant your faith community in the heart of the area you want to minister. (And if it were me, all leadership would be required to live in the immediate area, but I know that would be hard one for most.)
- You and your core group should spend lots of time exploring the needs of your community and how you can join your community in meeting those needs.
- When considering community needs, I’d be looking for those that center on the hurting people in your area. The gospel is about walking a new path and those that already know that their current path in life is a dead-end are the richest harvest ground. Get involved with the working poor, AA, NA, prisons, immigrant poor, etc.
- Be desperately dependent on prayer.
- Don’t become a CEO. Your faith community is not a business. Leave the American capitalist organizing and marketing principles for the business world. Your faith community should be organic.
What other answers do the rest of you have for Matt? Jump in so we can all learn.