This is the second post in a series of posts about what our upcoming Missional Community gatherings will look like.
Many folks have asked what we will actually do when we meet together in Missional COmmunities. Many of you have experienced small group bible studies, and other forms of smaller gatherings. In some ways, there will be some similarities, but in other ways, MC’s will be different.
The primary purpose of MC’s is not to be a Bible Study class or group. There will certainly be times when MC’s will study the Bible together, or perhaps work thru a Bible study curriculum, or even do a book study.
The primary purpose of MC’s, however is to be an intentional time of living on mission together. One of the simplest ways to begin to cultivate this kind if relationship is to just have a meal together. It may seem insignificant, but if you want to get a glimpse into Jesus’ own life on mission, read thru the gospels and take note of how many times we see Jesus eating with people. One of the accusations made against Jesus was even based around meals. Jesus was accused of eating and drinking with sinners. Also, it is no accident that the most symbolic and important rituals we have in the Church is also a meal. Jesus left us Communion as the way by which we would remember. We also see that very very early on in Church history, what those early Christians did was to devote themselves to the Apostles teaching and the “breaking of bread”. So, eating a meal together takes on all kinds of significance when we consider meals in this light.
So, when MC’s gather together, one of the central thins we will do together is eat a meal. Each MC will decide how that works(pot luck style, at a restaurant, one person cooking each week, etc…) but each MC will be highly encouraged to make eating a meal together a central part of how they live on mission together.
Along with this, the next most central part of living together on mission will be prayer. There may be times when the MC gathers and all we do is eat a meal and pray with and for one another. Prayer is so vital to our lives together. We must pursue and cultivate a community atmosphere where we know one another and are known to the point that our prayers can be deeply personal and therefore deeply meaningful.
As the MC’s mature in knowing the mission God has specifically given to them, they will likely begin to also include other things into their meetings. One of the first things that we will begin to practice together in MC’s is the telling and re-telling of our “Grace Stories”. This is simply the story of how God rescued and redeemed us and what that means for us. Practicing our stories together will create in us more comfort in our ability to share this story with others as we are out on mission, and it will give us an opportunity to listen well to these stories and begin to notice where there are still areas of unbelief in one another’s life that we can begin to speak gospel truths into.
Your expectation as to what MC life will be should be simple: we will gather and eat a meal together. From there we may spend time in prayer or spend time sharing our “Grace Stories” together as we begin to build deeper relationship with those whom we are on mission with.