What are Missional Communities?

In the 21st century many of these questions are being answered through Missional Communities.  we will spread the Gospel to the unreached, lost and broken, and will describe the Church Plant structure, and organization.  The most effective 21st Church Plant are based Missional churches.  The Great commission calls for evangelism and edification.  Our Mission is to make and grow disciples through the spread of the gospel.  Matt 28:19-20 (KJV).  This scripture also calls attention to the Missio Dei (God’s mission):

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Background of the Traditional Church:  (1) Church life centered on Sunday Worship in a purpose built facility, (2) Lay leadership focused on admin responsibilities, (3) Staff focused on program dev. and and ongoing operations

About 65% of the Builder Generation are in a church each week. With the Boomers, it’s about 35%. You will find 15% of Gen X’ers gather to a church this Sunday. For Gen Y (Millennials), the oldest of whom turned 30 in 2010, it’s only 4%. And in the midst of this, we all seem to be getting the same sense from God about the way forward. But there was one problem: What does this look like?[ii]

Reggie McNeal puts it like this: “We must change our ideas of what it means to develop a disciple, shifting the emphasis from studying Jesus and all things spiritual in an environment protected from the world, to following Jesus into the world to join him in his redemptive mission.”[iii]

What is a Missional Community?  “A community of Christ followers on mission with God in obedience to the Holy Spirit that demonstrates tangibly and declares creatively the Gospel  of Jesus Christ to a specific pocket of people”[iv]

From his lecture “Contextual and Missional” at Urban Plant Life Conference in London, Tim Keller talks about the nature of a missional church:  A missional church gears absolutely every single part of its life–its worship, community, public discourse and preaching education–for the presence of non-believers from the culture surrounding it. A missional church’s congregation reflects the demographic make-up of the surrounding community–and therefore it gives non-Christian neighbors attractive and challenging glimpses of what they would look like as Christians.[v]


  • Up – Building a personal relationship with Jesus
  • In – Discipling each other/accountability
    • Develop Missional Communitiy leaders.
    • Huddle – Missional Community leaders dedicated to discipling and accountability for each other
  • Out – Being a Witness for Christ and Serving the community
  • What is a Missional Community and its objectives
  • Resource: Pastor Chris Gonzalez (Missional Dei Communities in Phoenix, AZ)

Low control, high accountability.  This describes how missional communities lead, as well how the leaders are released to mission.  “The leaders of the MC are held accountable by the leadership of the greater church community, both for what they do and for the way in which they do it (i.e., character as well as task). “Low control, high accountability” is one way to describe relationships between the Missional Community and the church body and leadership.”[viii].  The best MC leaders are completely devoted to following Christ into the mission field, recognizing that, wherever they are, the fields around them today are white unto harvest.[ix]


Witness -Living witness to your Missional Community and Introduce Jesus to People that don’t know him

Service – Addressing the needs of the Missional community and Addressing the needs of the outer community

Conclusion:  As well, a Missional Community will go OUT together in specific missional activities, to serve and witness to their place of calling. Such events need to be regular and rhythmic, so that the group sees this as an integral part of their life together. It should be no more a ‘special’ than meeting to eat together or pray together is. (wikkipedia)


[i] Todd Enstrom, http://toddengstrom.com/2015/08/23/group-formation-process-graphic/

[ii] Reggie McNeal, Missional Renaissance (Jossey-Bass, 2009), p. 16(as cited in Launching Missional Communities

[iii] Breen, Mike; Alex Absalom (2010-11-11). Launching Missional Communities (Kindle Locations 227-232). 3DM. Kindle Edition.

[iv] Restoring Your Community with Missional Communities, page 20, http://my.vergenetwork.org/restoring-your-city-with-missional-communities/

[v] Tim Keller, http://timmybrister.com/2011/02/tim-keller-on-the-nature-of-a-missional-church/

[vi] Todd Engstrom, http://toddengstrom.com/2013/10/14/crafting-a-vision-for-missional-communities/

[vii] “Missional Communities” in Wikkipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missional_community

[viii] “Missional Communities” in Wikkipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missional_community

[ix] Breen, Mike; Alex Absalom (2010-11-11). Launching Missional Communities (Kindle Locations 1236-1237). 3DM. Kindle Edition


  1. Restoring Your Community with Missional Communities, Verge Networks
  2. Launching Missional Communities, Breen, Mike; Alex Absalom
  3. Leading Missional Communities Kindle Edition by Mike Breen
  4. Building a Discipling Culture Kindle Edition by Mike Breen
  5. Cultivating a Life for God, Neil Cole
  6. Total Church, Chester, Tim; Timmis, Steve (2008-08-21). Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community
  7. Invitation to World Missions: A Trinitarian Missiology for the Twenty-first Century (Invitation to Theological Studies Series) Kindle Edition by Dr Timothy Tennent (Author)
  8. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society Kindle Edition by Lesslie Newbigin
  9. 4 Ways to Keep Millennials in Your Small Groups, http://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2015/4-ways-to-keep-millennials-in-your-small-groups.html?start=2
  10. Developing a Church Planting Plan, http://web.kybaptist.org/web/doc/Church%20Planting%20Plan.pdf
  11. ECO Church Planting Manual, http://www.ecoplanting.org/mt-content/uploads/2016/08/eco-church-planting-manual-version-1.1.pdf
  12. Why the Missional Movement will Fail, http://www.vergenetwork.org/2011/09/21/mike-breen-why-the-missional-movement-will-fail-part-2/
  13. What Makes a Church Missional, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/march/16.56.html

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