As people come to know Jesus we form them into communities of Jesus-followers—called churches in the New Testament. These are disciple-making communities where people engage all the functions of the church: worshipping, edifying one another, serving together, using spiritual gifts, and experiencing transformation. As more people come to faith, new opportunities arise for forming new communities.
How can we as church leaders best coach our people toward forming missional communities?
First we need to help them think through the essential elements of what a missional community is supposed to do. How can we help a community of people live out—on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis—the spiritual realities of the Kingdom of God? How do we…
… live life together?
… help each other become more like Jesus?
… release people into their spiritual gifts?
… organize for effective action?
… help others become disciples?
Second, we need to help them decide how to implement and balance these elements in their gatherings. How can they ensure that sacrificial serving, authentic relationship, and spiritual transformation are all well-represented? If you want real missional communities, ones that don’t fall back into the familiar rut of “just a Bible study” or “just a small group,” you will have to make time for all three areas into your gatherings. If it doesn’t have sacrificial service, it’s not a missional community. If it doesn’t have authentic relationships, it’s not a missional community. If it doesn’t have spiritual transformation, it’s not a missional community. By living this way together, we share all facets of what it means to be the church with each other.
Here are some good coaching questions you can ask your people to help them get on track and stay on track with forming missional communities:
- How can we form communities based on authentic relationships?
- How can we model the sacrificial service of Jesus through our communities?
- How are we being transformed spiritually?
- How can we worship God together?
These thoughts on how to help your people form missional communities courtesy of my most recent book, The Missional Journey: multiplying disciples and churches that transform the world. Also available in digital format (iBook, Kindle, Nook).