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Building a Movement of Missional Communities - part 1

A few years ago I read a formative book, which, with the Book of Acts, has both informed and colored most of what I have been attempting to explore, experiement and figure out in ministry these days. That book, Church Planting Movements by David Garrison, is an exploration of some of the movements of the gospel that are happening around the world today. From north India to China to Latin America, God is moving in unprecedented ways, birthing and multiplying tens of thousands of house churches using ordinary people and simple, reproducible and scalable discipleship. Our vision for our missional communities at the Austin Stone was birthed out of learning what God is doing around the world through church planting movements. Our vision is this: to build a movement of missional communities who worship Christ, live in community, get trained for ministry and make disciples together.

That has meant totally retooling much of what ministry I've learned and done in the past - leadership development and training, de-educating people from traditional church ways of doing things and retraining them, methods of discipleship, understanding incarnational ministry, being the church instead of doing church, etc.

This starts with understanding, internalizing and living out what it means to build a movement of missional communities.

DEFINITION OF A MOVEMENT OF MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES

A Movement of Missional Communities is a rapid multiplication of lay-led missional communities (or house churches) starting other missional communities that sweeps through a people group or population segment. There are both Universal Elements to a movements, elements that absolutely must be there, and Common elements, elements that should be there but sometimes aren't. Here are the first two universal elements:

1. Prayer
MMCs are not sparked by people who read and talk about prayer. MMCs are sparked by people who pray. MMCs are sparked by people who get many others to pray. From the beginning, those involved must wholly rely on God's power. That way, the new believers, groups, and leaders will also learn to pray.

2. Abundant Gospel Sowing
MMCs are not sparked by people who are shy about sharing the Good News. MMCs are sparked by people who see that hundreds and even thousands of people are hearing the Good News. They know that those who sow abundantly usually reap abundantly.

Witness is Word + Deed. Reaching our spheres of influence and relationships is the primary way that the Gospel races through a population group. Loving acts of compassion, mercy and social justice demonstrate and validate the message we preach.


image: Movement/Movimiento by: victor_nuno


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