Saturday, July 9, 2011

Missional Community?

With the recent resurgence in gospel-centered church plants from groups such as ACTS 29, Sovereign Grace and Redeemer, the word 'missional' has become exceedingly trendy. Churches love to label themselves as 'missional', or love to call their small groups 'missional communities'. All this really means is that the church sees itself as part of God's mission. A missional church is a community of Christians who live and experience life together, who are united together in the gospel, meeting regularly to worship, speak biblical truth to each other, to build up, encourage, rebuke, and to partake in the Lord's Supper together. It is also a group that considers its purpose not only to inwardly build each other up and experience life among each other, but to share their lives with those outside the church. Missional churches are serious about living and proclaiming the gospel outside the church walls. They long to see the redemption of all things, and being indwelled with the Holy Spirit, are partakers in this mission. Yet, they do this together. They do this as a community of believers.

The reason I am posting this is because this term 'missional' seems to be so modern and trendy, but it is really an ancient idea. In fact, Israel was called to be a 'missional' community. They were to be a holy nation that mediated God's presence to the rest of the world. They were called to be a blessing to the rest of the world. Also, Saint Augustine mentions the idea in his Confessions. In this quote, Augustine had just recently become a Christian along with a few of his close friends. The next step? They were to move back to Africa together, live together in 'missional' community, so that they be of whatever service the Lord saw fit for them. That is 'missional' community.

"'You make people to live in unanimity' (Psalm 67:7): So you made Evodius a member of our circle, a young man from my home town. When he was a civil servant as an agent in the special branch, he was converted to you before we were. He was baptized and resigned his post on taking up your service. We were together and by a holy decision resolved to live together. We looked for a place where we could be of most use in your service; all of us agreed on a move back to Africa."

Saint Augustine, Confessions, pg. 166

1 comment: