Friday, October 20, 2006

Missional Needs Community

I spent last nite at the phillyemergent gathering (links to come after I get home to my own machine, Todd blogged it live at phillyemergent) and I was struck by several things from the conversation, but one thing in particular.

That was the thought that missional action can not be done seperate from community. Community is the base for missional action. You can not really have one without the other.

The reason being is that its out of our community that we know and experience God's love and it's that love we are sharing with the world through our missional actions.

So what do you think? Can there be missional action without community? And if there can not be, what ramification does that have for the current way we "do" church?

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7 comments:

Rich said...

I posted about this the other day. You can check it out at http://www.rdwagner.com/2006/10/exploring_missi_2.html

I think that the community aspect is very important to the missional mindset. We are all a part of the body of Christ and have been given different gifts to accomplish the mission of God. We truly need one another.

Makeesha said...

I absolutely agree. God's love is experienced (in part) through community, without true community/communitas, we cannot experience the fullness of God's love, and without we ourselves knowing God's love, we cannot BE that love to others.

Makeesha said...

I absolutely agree. God's love is experienced (in part) through community, without true community/communitas, we cannot experience the fullness of God's love, and without we ourselves knowing God's love, we cannot BE that love to others.

brandon.rhodes said...

Agreed -- if missionality first arises out of the perfect community of the Trinity, how could we expect to do any differently here?

Indeed, being missional apart from a community is perhaps closer to what it means to be a prophet TO the faith community, yah know?

BlindBeggar said...

I'm really interested in "community" as a biblical norm and as a counter to the American cultural value of individualism that has so compromised our faith communities. I’m seeing it mentioned more and more and it feels like is rebirthing it in the life of his body. But at this point, I haven’t seen a good definition of “community” or what it exactly looks like from a practical sense.

Jarvis said...

The desire for community is everywhere--just look at how much the bars are flourishing, for instance. A place "where everybody knows your name," as the theme song of Cheers hymned.

People want to be connected (in community), but I also remember my 'bar days'. I grew up in the "church", but walked away as a young believer because it was empty religion to me, not community. The bar smacked of community, but lacked the transforming power and life we see in the early church. It wasn't until, on several occasions, that I was reached out to in a loving, life-giving (non-condemning) way that my hope was restored in the body of Christ. So ultimately it was the Holy Spirit (of course) and believers demonstrating community to me that restored my hope in the church. I never became disenchanted with Jesus, but the church was another story...

Like it or not, the world is defining Jesus and the worth of this 'Christian walk' by how we "do" community.

Something to think about...

JDL said...

I'm still grappling with this question. I'm not sure that I agree that community is the base for missional action.

I believe community is vital to the long term impact of missional action and I'm convinced when there is real God directed missional action that God will builid a community around it.

But is it necessary for there to be a community for missional action to be initiated. I don't think so.

As I read it, Mother Teresa, kind of started her missional action by herself, then God developed a community of volunteers, workers, friends, supporters and participants around her.

There was no "community" when Philip went to Samaria. The community developed as the church was birthed in Samaria.

In each case community developed out of the missional action - not as the source of the missional action.

I also agree with Rick, Blind Beggar, when he says, "I haven’t seen a good definition of “community” or what it exactly looks like from a practical sense." I believe their is a lot we have to learn about being missional and in community.

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