Missional Communities (MCs) are a hot topic right now in the church, and many are excited about the potential of MCs to be a vehicle that allows the church to better live out its mission in the world. But if we embrace and implement MCs merely as a new program, they won’t live up to their potential and we’ll be on to the next hot topic in a few months.
MCs are helpful only if we use them as a vehicle that allows us to points us toward a much deeper issue: how we can learn to live our everyday lives as extended families on mission. We call this reality oikos (“household” in Greek), and that’s actually what this book is about. Think of it like this: an MC is a great vehicle, but vehicles are supposed to take you somewhere. The destination the vehicle of MC takes us to is oikos.
We believe oikos is something the Spirit of God is doing in this time to restore the church’s ability to function fruitfully in discipleship and mission the way the early church did, publicly living out our faith in the various neighborhoods and relational networks of our cities. We firmly believe this is the make-or-break issue for the Western church. We simply will not see God’s dream for the world come true unless we learn how to function as extended families on mission. And MCs are a great vehicle that helps jump-start that culture-shifting process.
We began using MCs over 25 years ago, and have seen both breakthrough and failure. This book is filled with the experience-drenched practical wisdom we use to train churches all over the Western world in leading, growing, and multiplying MCs.
The great thing it that it isn’t actually that complicated, and God will give us the power to do it. This isn’t a task reserved for church leaders, pastors, or experts, it’s for everyone! The goal is to learn how to function as an extended family on mission. We really believe this is something everyone can learn to do, and this book is about how to take the first steps in moving in that direction.