Missional Doesn’t Equal “New!”
Posted by Stan Rodda
I started a discussion on missional communities last week. Mostly, I just wanted to take time to share some of my thoughts and ideas on them. Missional communities (MC) were first experimented with in the late 1980’s in London. The idea was to create groups of 30-50 who were aligned around a common mission. That mission could be feeding the hungry in a particular area of town. That mission could be to clothe the people who had very little. It could be whatever they believed God was calling them to do. As this idea spread around Europe, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the idea finally came to the States. Once here, a few people have been leading the way in “re”implementing this “new” idea.
At the beginning of the year, I began a reading plan on YouVersion to read through the Bible in a year. I chose the chronological reading plan because I wanted to be able to read the Bible more like a story, with everything in order as it happened. I began to read and I came to the book of Exodus. I have started Exodus before. It’s not my favorite book. The first twenty chapters or so are pretty cool. Lots of action, you could even make a movie out of it. Someone should do that. But after that, it starts to get a little boring. So I was a little nervous about being able to get all the way through without faltering. What I found was incredible. As I prayed through the “boring parts,” God began to show me something that I believe is incredible. MC’s are not a “new” idea.
Exodus 35:29 (NLT) – “So the people of Israel—every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the Lord had given them through Moses—brought their gifts and gave them freely to the Lord.
This was an entire community of people, focusing on an area in which they had a passion and were gifted and they used it to complete a work the Lord had shown them through their visionary leader, Moses. They not only did the work, but they “gave them free to the Lord.” From early on, it seems to me that God has had this idea. MC’s are not new, they are a throwback. They are not something to be afraid of, they are God’s plan. A MC gives the average, ordinary, everyday person an opportunity to find fulfillment by using their gifts and talents freely for the Lord. To use the talents they have been given to follow God in the mission of sharing the love of Jesus with everyone they encounter. Being a MC to me is simply a group of people living their lives as missionaries. It is saying, “God has placed me where I am, for a reason. And rather than waste the opportunity, I am going to use all of my time, talents and resources to make a difference for God right where I am. I don’t have to live in a foreign country to be a missionary. I’m a missionary right here. And I’m going to join with others who feel the same way and I’m going to help make a difference right where I am.
I’m going to bring my gifts and I’m going to freely give them to God.
Join the discussion.
I want to hear your thoughts.
What do you think about MC’s?
What needs are right in your backyard that you can see as a mission field?
Is it time to freely give yourself to God by using your gifts and talents to be a part of the solution for that need?
In what ways can you see this concept playing out in everyday life?
Are MC’s a new idea? Am I just crazy? (I will be the first to admit that God doesn’t call this group in Exodus 35 a “missional community.” Based on the way they are structured today, it seems to me that God has been trying to use people as “missionaries” since gifts and talents were first given to them.)
Can’t wait to hear from you.
About Stan RoddaFollower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.
Posted on February 1, 2011, in bible, Church, discipleship, God, Jesus, Leadership, Life, missional communities, missionary, outreach, relationships, resources, social settings, the basics, the culture, the nation, the world, worldview. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.