What is a Missional Community? Why is this the model that we do for our ministry at Resonate Church?
I have been in ministry for twenty years now and have seen many different ministry models. Each ministry model produced fruit and was effective in its time. I believe that things have changed and the attractional model for the church is losing its effectiveness to reach the lost. It works okay for transfer growth, but not so much for those who have never entered church doors. I meet people all the time that have gone to different church but have no interest to go now. Why is that the case?
I am very passionate about what I will be sharing today. This is going to be a challenging message. My hope is that God will ignite a passion in our hearts for the lost and for our city today. I pray that will all seek God in how He wants us to live on mission in our lives individually and as a church. Let’s not limit what God can do through us and our church to advance the Kingdom in our city.
I. The Mission of the Church
Matthew 28:18-20: Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We are to reach the lost and to make disciples
Our goal is not to get people to a church service or to say the sinner’s prayer
We teach what it means to follow Jesus and to do what He did
What did Jesus do?
Luke 9:1-6: One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
During the early part of Jesus’s ministry, the disciples listened to Jesus teach the the Word and they watched Him minister to the the lost. Now Jesus is sending them out to do what He did.
The Great Commission tells us that Jesus gave us all authority in Heaven and on Earth to do what?
Jesus gave the disciples power and authority to cast out demons and to heal the sick. They were to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God - God reigns over everything! So if we are followers of Jesus, we are like the disciples. We are commissioned to make more disciples and to walk in the authority of God. When is the last time you prayed for the sick outside of a church gathering?
Mark 16:15-18: And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
This verse has challenged me lately, I pray for the sick but do not always see them healed.
Ephesians 4:11-12: Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
Why do we listen to preaching every Sunday? To grow in our knowledge of the Word? No, we go to to equipped to do the ministry. Jesus taught the Word to the disciples so that they could start a movement of God and reach the world for Christ. He was sending them out to do the Great Commission.
Jesus sends out the seventy-two in Luke. They were commissioned to do the same thing as the twelve. This make it clear that we are all called to do the Great Commission. Where did the seventy-two come from? The disciples were making disciples!
II. We are not meant to stay disciples
Matthew 10:1-8: Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (also called Peter), then Andrew (Peter’s brother), James (son of Zebedee), John (James’s brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him). Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
God put little details in the Word for a reason. Many times we overlook these little details that have a significant impact. Within this same passage the Twelve are called both “disciples” and “apostles.”
Disciple - learner
Apostle - sent
The church has been in the learner mode for a long time. We have plenty of teaching resources, bible studies, small groups, and conferences. Now it’s time to do what we were commissioned to do and make disciples who make more disciples.
I’ve seen in some church sanctuaries that they have a sign above their doors that reads, “You are now entering the mission field.” The world is our mission field. Our community, our workplace, our neighborhood is our mission field. The people we come into contact with on a daily basis is our mission field.
Who are you discipling right now? What lost person are you reaching out to?
III. What is a Missional Community?
You see this all the time. People get saved and then eventually get disconnected from the lost. We create a Christian subculture that has no influence on a lost and dying world around us.
If Christians do hang out with the lost, the world seems to have more influence on the Christian than the Christian has on the lost.
Defining Missional Community
A Missional Community is
A group of people, about the size of an extended family, who are united through Christian community around a common service and witness to a particular neighborhood or network of relationships. ... In essence, this group of people becomes a close-knit spiritual family on mission together
A community of Christ followers on mission with God in obedience to the Holy Spirit that demonstrates tangibly and declares creatively the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a specific pocket of people
Primary Principles of Missional Community
Community on Mission
Gather around Mission:
Discipleship is the key to sustainability:
The Early Church was a Missional Community
Acts 2:42-47: All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
When we devote ourselves to the Word, fellowship, sharing meals, and prayer, we will be more effective in reaching our city.
Everyday they worshipped at the temple and they met in homes. They shared their food and they shared their lives. The Word says that people were get saved every day.
How did they reach the lost if they met in the temple and their homes every day? They obviously spent some time in the marketplace as well.
We live in a society where many families are broken. People long for family. This is why the early church was so effective and this is why I believe Missional Community will be effective.
Who are you discipling? How many non-Christian friends to do have and spend time with?
Reasons why we fail to be missional
We have never had it modeled to us
We have been trying to figure out how to live on mission for the last five years and have learned some practical ways to live on mission. We have been implementing these things in our missional communities and huddles. We don’t have it all figured out yet and are still learning and growing.
We have fears or feelings of inadequacy
This comes down to knowing who we are in Christ. As we grow in Christ and become more like Him, we will have a heart for the lost and a confidence in His using us to reach them.
We are too busy and don’t have time
Family is always first. This is one of our church’s core values. We need to view our church as our family as well. God will give us wisdom how to blend these things together. Furthermore, we need to include those into our family whom we are trying to reach.
Our Missional Community:
Enabled us to build strong community and family feel in our church
Kept us balanced in our walks with the Lord and healthy spiritually
Kept us on mission (the Huddles do this even more)
If we are going to reach this city, we need to be out in the city. That means we need to have the mindset that we are missionaries. Missionaries move and live among a people group - they eat with them, share meals with them, learn their language and hear their stories. We need to do the same thing here in Sioux Falls. There is a sacrifice that comes with doing church this way. We need to be committed to one another and make every effort to not only gather on Sundays and for MC, but at other times throughout the week. The more we grow in our love together, the more we will be able to reach this city together. People are going to be drawn to the Lord because of how we love each other.
There are times we have to pull back from things. There is a reason why we haven’t done huddles in a while. There is a reason why we pull back in the summer time on MC’s. There a reason why we have times scheduled off from MC. We don’t want to burn people out. Rest is a healthy thing, but it is not a permanent thing.
We need to ask the Lord how He wants us to be missional. We need to ask Him who we need to reach out to. The Holy Spirit will direct us to the things we need to do daily. We need to become more familiar with the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The bottom line is the more we know and seek Jesus, the more we will want to reach the lost around us. If we simply do what Jesus tells us to do every day, will begin to see this city changed and people will come to know Jesus.
Who are you discipling right now? What lost person are you reaching out to? If you don’t have a name, ask God to put people on your heart and reveal how He wants you to reach them.