We are adding another dimension to our Student Ministry. This fall we are starting 6 Missional Communities. Missional Communities will be vital part of our Student Ministry. They are a place where students can get connected to the body of Christ. These communities provide a place for intimacy and the ability to build safe environments for people to open up. Also our Missional Community Leaders are empowered to be shepherds and not chaperones. Those leaders will shepherd the flock that they have been given. They will also invest in the lives of those students and their families.
Envision groups of Christians who don’t just talk about how culture needs to change; they are praying together in agreement and actively engaged in changing culture in the power of God’s Spirit. What does that transformation look like? Imagine rural communities serving the needs of nearby urban communities and the entire area being turned upside down. Housing is being rebuilt. Illegal drugs have all but vanished. Gang members are being transformed into small group members who are mentoring their younger brothers and sisters into being compassionate followers of Jesus. Employment in the inner city is on the rise. Addicts that once stole or sold themselves into prostitution are working at steady jobs. School violence throughout the urban, suburban, and rural communities is at an all-time low. Kids are learning and loving it. The hungry are being fed, the naked are being clothed, and the sick are being cared for. Kids are even caring for the elderly and being mentored by them. The entire community has come together to meet each other’s needs in a miraculous way. One-way to accomplish this is by creating and organized structure to facilitate this process. Below is a brief description of what a Missional Community should look like:
So what does a Missional Community (MC) look like?
*These are some of the core components of an MC:
* From Launching Missional Communities by Mike Breen
Our goal is to have Missional Communities in every area of our city. We also want to have members of our Missional Communities in every class, club and sports team in Jamestown Middle School and Jamestown High School. These communities will be strategically organized to reach into every area of the school campus as well as every neighborhood in town. In John 1, we see that “Jesus dwelt among us”. He became a part of the culture. He was “one of us”. We must have the same mindset. Paul encourages us in Philippians 2:5-11 to have the same attitude as Christ, which means we must live out the Gospel before the people that we have been entrusted with. The Holy Spirit allows us to be the “incarnate” representative of Christ on earth. We will have the same spirit and mind of Christ if we tap into the power and guidance that the Holy Spirit offers.
We must keep the BIG picture in mind. We have to put people before programs. We cannot underestimate the power of presence. Just being available and listening to students share the successes and failures in their life; we will make a great impact. Remember, we are a model of relational ministry.
We need to be real and authentic with our students, their families, and our leaders. Jesus was able to do this very well. His disciples saw Him in His full glory on the Mount of Transfiguration and in His brokenness in the Garden of Gethsemane. Authenticity is really at the heart of the incarnation. When Jesus was baptized and the Father spoke His affirmation over His son by saying “in whom I am well pleased”, we see who Jesus really was. His divine nature and human nature were transparent for all to see. All we have to do is look. His miracles testified to his deity while his sorrow and brokenness in the Garden displayed His humanity.
Incarnational Ministry is what every believer is called to. We are the body of Christ. We are an extension of His saving grace. We must be willing to step outside of our comfort zone, and “dwell” with those who need to experience the incarnate, and Missional Communities are a vehicle for us to practice “incarnate” living in a dark and broken world. These communities will help us be “salt” and “light” to a generation that is desperately seeking the truth, so make plans to be part of these vibrant Missional Communities today!!!