General CBF

Missional Church Starts: Missional from the Get-Go

CBF talks a lot about being missional, but sometimes it is hard to know exactly what this means. How are we to explain it?  How are we to live it?  How do we accomplish it?  How do we as individuals and as churches shift our focus to becoming missional?

 Like many things, most often it is easier to point to examples of where missional living is happening over listing a step by step process of how to accomplish it.  As a young Baptist who works with CBF’s efforts in starting new churches, I’ve been amazed byt the missional natures of these new communities.  Several of these new churches consciously define themselves as missional communities.  They are not centered primarily around worship, Sunday school, or cell groups.  At their heart, they are rooted in mission. 

One recent church start has developed out of a particular passion for one neighborhood in the heart of Atlanta.  The core group is seeking to move into the community and be the presence of Christ to those around them.  They do not come with answers, but they are learners, partnering with ministries and resources already in place, and finding ways to meet needs currently not being met.   Another recent church start emerged out of a number of small groups whose purpose is primarily mission.  Different groups had formed based on affinities for various types of service: a passion for teaching children, sustaining the environment, or home repair for the elderly.  Another new church has said from their first meeting that 50% of whatever resources the church collects will be reinvested into ministry to the community. 

Each of these new communities see missional living as the core of their identity.  And with mission at its core, then community, worship, and discipleship follow.  There is no possibility of a segmented approach.  Missional living can never be one aspect of the church.  It must be at the center.  I’m continually inspired by the new church starts in our movement.  Some may say this is easier to do for a new start over an established church.  Maybe, but I’m not sure.  But what I do know is that these recent missional communities are paving a way in helping all of us to see that missional living must be in the DNA of all we do as the Church in the world.

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