Our Mission, Our Story: Roots Missional Community

The Roots story began whilst we were expecting our first child. We knew another couple who were in the same boat; we weren’t in an MC at the time and we knew our lives were missing something….community, family, the sense of ‘being in it together’ with people.

And so we started to have a meal once a week with this couple with the intention of pursuing life together and drawing others into it. We knew our lives were about to change completely and that it would bring new challenges and missional opportunity and we needed others to be in that with.

As we continued to eat weekly we began inviting others in and we grew. We sensed that there were some people for whom life as part of ‘big’ church hadn’t always been easy…they were struggling to connect meaningfully with others and were on the fringe. We felt a natural pull to invite them into our growing family.

Now, I’m afraid we didn’t quite follow the normal ‘recommended’ route of starting an MC. We didn’t start with a clear missional vision or really any clue about where we were headed longer term, but as we grew and developed the MC we realised that what we had sensed to do naturally we then began to recognise and articulate as our vision. We noticed that God was using us as a place to draw people into for a season, for them to get healed up, grow in freedom and confidence in their faith and then be sent out to run with their own dreams and visions – the things they wanted to be ‘in it together’ with others.

So what about being missional? Well, quite early on we decided that our mission was lived out through people’s individual callings and situations, and our main focus was to support, encourage and pray for each other in those places. Practically that would sometimes look like all of us trouping out to help serve at a kids events that a couple of our MC were involved in; one time a few of us went out onto the streets to help one member who was involved in detached youth work; we fundraised one Christmas to buy refugee and asylum-seeking kids presents whom one of our number had got to know through a midwifery training placement. A few times we did something all together, like the year we put on an Easter egg hunt in the city centre and gave out chocolate eggs.

Over the course of the almost 5-year life of the MC we had over 70 people connected with us, though never more than about 35 at any one time. When we felt the Lord say it was time to end we were able to send out 3 brand new MCs, each with a specific vision, and one more started a year later from that same bunch of people. We count it a privilege and great joy to have been a family of people on mission together with all of those people.

Helen Askew lives in Deal, Kent along with her two young children and husband Ben who is training for ordination. She works for St George’s Church with responsibility for everyone under 30. They have just planted a new MC for young adults there, are working to establish youth MCs and also work with 3DM UK from time to time!