Over the past few years I’ve spent a lot of time looking into church planting practices, approaches, methods, etc. I’ve also been looking at the mission context we’re working in here in Fort Wayne, listening to the Spirit, and learning about how I am wired as a leader.
One of the practices I’ve come across is that of organizing a church as a network of mid-sized missional communities (MCs). MCs are “extended family”-like communities of 20-50 people with a common mission focus, usually a relational network or a neighborhood. One of the first questions I asked was “What’s the big deal with mid-sized communities? How are they different from small groups with a mission focus? Or from a house church?”
When I first asked the question, I had no idea how deep the rabbit hole went! But after a lot more reading, talking, and observing in various contexts, I have come to believe that organizing a church as a network of mid-sized missional communities holds tremendous promise in reaching post-Christian contexts.
I recently wrote a series of blog posts exploring mid-sized missional communities from a biblical, historical, and sociological perspective, highlighting how they are different from small groups, and sharing some of the specific transitions we are making this summer in our church plant that will move us in this direction.
These posts barely scratch the surface of what missional communities can be, but hopefully they will function as catalysts for you to explore them in more depth and seek to apply them, with the guidance of the Spirit, to your context.