Here’s one pastor who would admit it- his church stinks at forming biblical community.
Matt Carter, senior pastor of The Austin Stone Community Church, realized that their small group ministry was not working at building biblical community. The challenge sent Matt and his leadership team back to Scripture to rediscover what formed community. The answer? Mission! Mission is what forms the bond of community.
Here’s how the Austin Stone website describes a “missional community”:
A Missional Community is a partnership of Christians on mission with God for our city, who demonstrate the gospel tangibly and declare the gospel creatively to each other, their neighbors, and to the world.
A Missional Community is not JUST a:
1. Small Group
2. Bible Study
3. Support Group
4. Social Activist Group
5. Weekly Meeting
It can involve these sorts of things, but it doesn’t stop there. Our missional communities Worship Christ, Live in Community, Get Trained for ministry, and Make Disciples together… over time. Being involved in community is critical to being in church rather than simply attending church. Missional communities are different from “small groups” or “community groups” that function as a program in the church; for us, they ARE the church.
Rockbridge Seminary students who have completed the online seminary course “Building a Small Group Ministry” may be helped by listening to Matt share about his journey in leading his church to form missional small groups.
Hat tip Learnings @ Leadership Network
The Show: Strategic Conversations on the Church takes a look each week at what is happening in the church world- the innovative, the provocative, the interesting, and the important things that are changing the way we all do ministry.