missional community | formerly known as following Jesus

I am part of a “missional community….I think?

Others would call it something like:

*a city group

*a gospel community

*a gospel community on mission

*a life group

*a community group

*a parish

*a family of servant missionaries

*an awkward group of Christians

And the list goes on and on…you get the point.

But what are we all talking about? What is a “missional community”?

It seems that Christians everywhere are starting to notice that something is wrong: that our experience of “church” does not look much like the “church” we read about in our Bibles:

A diverse community of people who are perfectly loved by Jesus, who are learning to follow him and to love one another and their neighbors.

In fact when we say the word “church” in America many things come to mind:

*a meeting on Sunday morning where a guy with a “faux hawk” does 4 or 5 bad covers of Hillsong United songs (guilty as charged)

*a building where their parents forced them to go to a flannel graph lesson on Sundays and a cold lasagna dinner on Wednesday nights

*a television preacher who tells them if they will send in a check that God wants to “bless them” with a fat bank account

*a 45 minute message from an excited preacher who thinks he is funnier and more insightful than he really is….who probably could have said the same thing in 20…..(guilty as charged)

On top of that some people just get mad when they hear the word “church” because it is a place where they have felt judged and rejected….not to mention that they blame us for the fact that Chick Fila is closed on Sundays.

Whatever people think when they hear the word “church”, they probably aren’t thinking:

A diverse community of people who are perfectly loved by Jesus, who are learning to follow him and to love one another and their neighbors.

I am coming to the conclusion that words like “missional community” exist because maybe we have given up on just calling it what it is: being “the Church”…formerly known as following Jesus.

Instead of redefining and recovering the power and beauty of those words…..

It might just be easier to start from scratch……and start “missional communities”.

So I am curious on your thoughts:

What do you call your “missional communities”?

And why?

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6 Comments on “missional community | formerly known as following Jesus”

  1. Terry Ishee says:

    Great stuff… thanks for sharing bro.

  2. Kenny Business says:

    I think we all need a lot less talk and a little more action.

    I love the content, Nate, great thoughts and thanks for putting them out there to sharpen.

  3. Michael Dean says:

    I am really big on language, and I really think we overcomplicate matters by using extra-biblical language (why can’t church just mean Church). But the really is that words are redefined by our actions.

    So to Kenny’s point, the word “church” will be redefined when we live it as such.

  4. […] I have this theory that “missional” used to be called things like “Christianity” or “following Jesus”, but since those words have lost their saltiness a new word was formed (an idea I wrote about HERE) […]

  5. Claire says:

    When I started going to our “city group” I would tell friends who asked that I was going to a “bible study-ish thing”, they I got comfortable saying city group. But now it really is just a family, a support unit, an awkward group of Christians 😉

  6. […] or a new model of church planting. Let’s rule this one out right away, because as I talked about HERE “missional” is just a fairly new word that describes something very […]


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