What are Missional Communities?
We believe real community is an essential building block of the church and mission is the call of the church. Missional Communities are a place where can love God and love our neighbour – together we grow in our faith and are a blessing as we serve our local neighbourhood and/or relational network. They are a place where we can be known, supported and challenged to go deeper in our relationship with each other and to grow as disciples of Jesus.
We believe real community is a great way for individuals to get to know people within the church, and is the best forum for ongoing discipleship and personal growth. It also provides real opportunity to live out or discover our God-given calling and to engage in mission to our city.
They are communities of people who find they have a similar heart, focus or calling in life and are a form of ‘extended family’. They each have a distinct missional purpose – either a neighbourhood (geographic) or a network (interest or demographic) – this missional focus could include communities reaching out to students, young adults, creatives, the marginalised, youth or children, business communities, families, the elderly, local neighbourhoods and many many more.
These ‘missional communities’, also called clusters, Mission-shaped communities and a variety of other names, are generally made up of between 8 and 35 adults (plus any number of accompanying children). Size matters! They are larger than a small group/house group and most missional communities also have smaller groups within them. These small groups are like immediate family – people we see week-in, week-out and share our lives with at a deeper level. The missional community is like the extended family – small enough to care but large enough to dare!
The communities ‘orbit’ the centre. These communities are not a substitute for gathered, central church. It is important to gather as the people of God – a celebration – but these communities would, on an agreed cycle or orbit, be sometimes gathered with the wider church family and on other Sundays, or other times, meeting as the community in the missional context.
These communities are based on ‘principles not practices’. Each community has a faith, a community and a mission dimension. How each of these 3 dimensions are expressed will be unique to each community and will be shaped by the particular missional vision of the ocmmuity and the missional context that the community is part of.