OK… first things first. I have an extra unread copy of Donald Miller's latest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life that I would love to give away to someone who reads/contributes to my blog. I would also really like to engage people in dialogue about the subject of Missional Community. So here's what we are going to do.
- Leave a comment on this post (it can just say, "Hey! I want that book!")
- You will receive a bonus entry for any of the following:
- Leaving a comment that actually pertains to the discussion of Missional Community
- Following this Blog by CLICKING HERE
- Follow me on Twitter @bspahr
- Sharing a link to/retweeting this post on your blog/facebook/twitter
Sound good?! If you are already doing some of the things to earn "bonus entries"… just let me know in your comment and I will add you to the drawing accordingly. Thanks! I can't wait to hear from you. Now here's the post:
"Missional" and "Community" are both words that, independent of each other, that have become a regular part of the vernacular in church circles. There has been much written on both, so there is no real point in me trying to add to that already over-saturated body of work here. Just FYI, A quick Amazon Search for "christian community" produced 4776 titles (13 of which released just this month) and 351 "missional" titles. Not bad for a word (missional) that is not officially even a word… at least according to Webster's.
For the sake of conversation and clarity, here are two simplified definitions:
Missional - a Christian term that describes a missionary lifestyle; adopting the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message.1
Community - a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists2
With these definitions in mind, what I am most interested in as a follower of Jesus and as a leader in a local expression of the Church is really the fusion of these two terms: MISSIONAL COMMUNITY. How do we become a community whose common characteristic — what distinguishes us from the larger society in which we exist — is our missionary lifestyle? How do we become a community that that shares a common mission and pursues that through our life together?
These are not rhetorical questions. Let's talk about this. This is what I am most interested in pursuing with my life and in our community of faith — this is where I want to invest my leadership — but it is often a struggle. It is much easier to dream about and talk about than it is actually live. So for those of you who are practitioners of "missional community": I'd love to dialogue about your experiences. Those who share my struggle in living this out: I'd love to dialogue about those as well.
For a primer on Missional Community CLICK HERE