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Nuts & Bolts of Missional Community

February 8, 2019 by Jared Pickney

At Fellowship Bible Church, we believe the primary organizing structure of the church is Missional Communities (MCs). This means that our ministry, care, outreach, leadership development and discipleship all happen at the MC level. If something competes with MCs we simply don’t do it.

We believe in Missional Communities, not because we think it’s the silver bullet to success, but because we believe it’s Biblical Christianity. We believe it means being the church God has called us to be. Missional Communities are less about doing something new, and more about believing we have been made new.

We define a Missional Community as a family of missionary servants committed to making disciples who make disciples. Who We Are and What We Do flows out of Who God Is and What He Has Done for us in Christ.

Because of the finished work of Christ, we are no longer orphans. We are beloved children of God, called to love one another as the Father has first loved us. Jesus reminds us of the wonderful reality that we are a part of the family of God when he teaches us to pray, “Our Father..” Mathew 6:9

Because of the finished work of Christ, we are now missionaries. Jesus has given us his Holy Spirit to empower us to be his witnesses. Acts 1:8

Because of the finished work of Christ, we are now servants. No longer are we a servant to sin, but a servant to King Jesus. We have been set free from the power of sin, so that, we may now live the life Jesus has called us to live. Just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve, we want to embrace the same posture of a servant, for people’s good and God’s glory.

As Christians, this is who we are. We are a family of missionary servants. As a MC, we are committed to living out our new identities for the purpose of making disciples who make disciples. This is the Great Commission. It’s the purpose of the church’s existence.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father (FAMILY) and of the Son (SERVANT) and of the Holy Spirit (MISSIONARIES)…” Matthew 28:18-19

I personally don’t care what you call it, a missional community, life group, gospel life group or community group. What matters is that people believe because of the finished work of Christ, they really are a family of missionary servants called to make disciples who make disciples. Christian, this is who you are! You might not be believing it yet, but it is true of you!

There is nothing else I personally want to give my life to except living out of who I really am in my everyday life for the purpose of making new disciples. I want to introduce people to the Jesus who has rescued me from sin and darkness. I want more and more people in our city to see that life really is better under the rule and reign of this King. When this happens joy will flood our cities (Acts 8).

Jesus really is the good news our cities need. That’s what this is all about. We aren’t launching MCs all over our cities because we were tired of “doing church” the old way. Missional Communities aren**’**t being launched out of a negative response to the traditional church, they are being launched out of a positive response to Jesus. He is the hope for the renewal and restoration of our cities.

My Missional Community is committed to making disciples in the Labor Park area of our city. Each week we cookout at the park and invite the skaters from the skate park to eat with us. Over a period of time we have been able to develop some significant relationship with several skaters.

A couple weeks ago my wife and I, along with another couple from our MC, had four skaters from the park in our home for some delicious chicken and sausage gumbo. As we were eating, one of the skaters looked at me and said, “I know Jesus is still on earth and miracles still happen.” I really thought he was about to follow that statement up with a joke. He went on to say, “I had no food tonight and you guys invited me over for gumbo.”

A Missional Community is simply the church being the church. And when the church is the church, we function as the body of Christ. People experience the presence of Jesus on earth, and Good News begins to spread.

Our friend from the park is starting to see flesh and bone put on the gospel. The Jesus he once poked fun of is starting to become more relevant in his life. Just last week he told me he feels the love of Christ through our MC. Maybe one day the love of Christ poured out for him through the cross will flood his soul, and he will fully surrender his life to the only one who can save and satisfy him.

This is what we are all about at Fellowship Bible Church. We don’t want to be known as the Missional Community Church. We want to be known as the Jesus Church. Jesus is the point. Here is where our hope is and he is all that we have.

In the end, Missional Communities are just the vehicle for helping people have a daily encounter with Jesus, as are learning together what it means to live out our new identities as a family of missionary servants.

Jared Pickney is Lead Pastor at Fellowship Church of Paragould, in Paragould, Arkansas. He is husband to Megan, and father to Nora Kate, Wyatt, and Moses.

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