This is the second of a 3-part series designed to help your Missional Community have a good balance of UP (focus on relationship with God), IN (focus on relationships with each other) and OUT (focus on bringing good news to others) from our friends at http://www.missionalcommunitiesblog.com . We hope you find it helpful – feel free to ask questions or make other suggestions in the comments! The original was posted on May 7, 2015 . You can read the first part in the series here.
What are the key principles of a healthy ‘OUT’ life in a Missional Community?
For some Missional Communities the ‘OUT’ missional dimension is the easiest and for others it brings the most challenge. Whichever it might be for your MC the key principles are the same.
For a healthy OUT dimension keep these three things in mind:
Talk about being missional.
Pray about being missional.
Do it and keep it simple.
If we are to have a positive and healthy ‘OUT’ dimension we must ensure that our community’s missional vision is clear and easy to articulate. Ideally it should be able to be communicated in one sentence. Make sure that everyone in your community knows what your missional vision is. Keep repeating it every time you meet together. Don’t just read it out like a notice – talk about it. Give plenty of opportunity for testimony of what God is doing every time you meet. Celebrate the things you see and hear.
Encourage every member to be missional. For some this is easier than for others so don’t only focus on the big things, celebrate the small steps as well. Give support and encouragement and plenty of opportunity for people to say what God is doing.
Some practical ideas:
Consider the needs that arise in the neighbourhood or people group your Missional Community serves. Look for places of grace, influence and invitation and encourage your group to keep asking the question ‘where could I be a blessing?’.
Pray about it. Pray together before you go out and when you come back before you disperse. It’s good to remind ourselves that we are carriers of God’s Presence.
We found that one of the most effective ways of beginning to engage with and serve a community is to litter-pick around the neighbourhood. This almost inevitably results in conversations. Someone is sure to ask what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Get involved with existing community activities and serve at these events. You could offer to help with the least popular jobs!!
Keep it simple.
As you discover the needs of the community around you it will become apparent how you can make a difference and share the gospel in appropriate ways. As you are open to what God is saying your missional vision will be refined and brought into sharper focus. Do keep the missional goals clear and realistic.
Jenny Rosser lives in Durham with her husband David. They have been involved in the development and implementation of Missional Communities for the past 11 years.