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Steps for Launching and Reproducing Missional Communities

As we are near to launching our first two Missional Communities, I wanted to try and record a critical timeline for how Missional communities are launched and reproduced.  I recognize that not all MC’s start the same or grow at the same pace.  I still thought that putting together a template timeline might be beneficial in launching more MCs. 

Below are the steps towards launching and reproducing Missional Communities.  Each step occurs within a season of the process.  Many of these steps happen simultaneously and are not always necessarily completed before the next step begins.  

 

Sowing Seeds

Step 1- Starting and Growing Relationships

Note: As Christians we should always be engaging our unchurched family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors for the sake of establishing and growing relationships with them. The Season of Sowing Seeds and the Step of Starting and Growing Relationships is one that does not end with the launch of an MC but should be a regular Rhythm of life.

Things to consider are:

  1. Who are the people you know?  What networks of relationships, friends, hobbies and…
  2. What people group (network/neighborhood) are you feeling called to reach?
  3. Who are the prospects who’s hearts God had been opening? Who will help us accomplish this work?
  4. Who are the people that have the potential to open up a wider network of prospects?
  5. Discern who is the most open to spirituality and church.

 Preparation for A New Missional Community

 Step 2- Select Leader and 2-3 person leadership core of the Missional Community

Things to consider:

  1. Who of an existing MC feels called to lead a missional community? Have they been mentored?
  2. Who does the sending MC feel is able and qualified to lead? 
  3. Who has a passion to reach a certain people group?

Step 3 – Select a Mission

 Things to consider:

  1. The leader (and the core) selects a mission to a specific neighborhood, people group, etc, usually connected to the relationships built up with prospects. 
  2. If the leader does not yet have a core of a few Christians, including 1-2 fellow leaders, who will join him on this mission, the leader should present his mission to his MC to seek those people. 

 

Preparation for Launch

Step 4 – Heightened Intentional Outreach to the Prospects of each Core Member

 Things to consider:

  1. Schedule weekly intentional parties, social gatherings, and activities in which to engage with prospects and to introduce them to the other members of the core.  These could be large-scale parties involving all core members and many if not most of the prospects.  Mostly these events are the sharing of everyday life and activities with one or two prospects and a member of two of your core.    
  2. Regularly serve within the context you’re trying to reach.  You could assess and try to fill the need of one of your prospects or invite your prospects to serve others in the context with you. 

 Step 5 – Pray for God’s Blessings

Things to consider:

  1. Gather weekly with your core to pray for the MC and the prospects.
  2. Distribute a prospect list with first names to other members of the core so that they can be prayed for individually.

Step 6 – Set A Date for Beginning the Story-Formed Way 

 Things to Consider:

  1. This is usually 4-10 weeks out depending on how much past work has been done in building relationships with prospects. 
  2. Prayerfully discern who the “low hanging fruit” are and invite them to join you for the Story. 

Launching and MC Life

Note: While the mission and outreach aspect of the MC has been going on for some time, the MC officially starts with the beginning of The Story Formed Way

Step 7 – Launch with Beginning The Story-Formed Way   

Things to consider:

  1. Create a weekly rhythm of gathering on the same night in the same place.
  2. Decide how often you will gather for the Story and if you’ll take a break from it to celebrate or serve in that same gathering time. 

Step 8 – Mentor and be Mentored

Things to consider:

  1. Involve apprentice leaders in telling scenes from The Story and/or leading the dialogue as well as any further bible studies.  
  2. Involve apprentice leaders in choosing and scheduling service and social events.
  3. If no one is willing to be an apprentice leader, casually involve them in leading the story, praying, planning, etc. and gradually give them more responsibility.
  4. Each leader and apprentice leader should attend Leadership training.
  5. Each leader should attend leader huddle and have a Coach.

Step 9 – Create a Rhythm of Serving and Celebrating

 Things to consider:

  1. Serve within the context of your mission, that is, always connect your serving to the people you’re trying to reach and disciple.
  2. Continue the activities from Step 1. 

Multiplication and Reproduction

 Step 10 – Plan for Multiplication

Things to consider:

  1. Talk from the very beginning about the purpose of the group is to multiply and to reach others. 
  2. Officially or unofficially mentor and train new leaders.
  3. Teach each member how to share the Gospel through telling the Biblical Story.
  4. Regularly rehurse among the leadership how to share the Gospel Story

Step 11 – Reproduction and Sending

Things to consider:

  1. Reproduction happens when an apprenticed leader is trained and ready.
  2. Sometimes that apprenticed leader is released with 2-3 others to start a new MC.
  3. Sometimes the existing leader takes 2-3 members and starts a new MC and the apprentice takes over. 
  4. In the case where many members of the group were mentored simultaneously, the group then splits into as many teams are there are ready leaders to start new MCs.
  5. Other MCs and the Church celebrate the birth of new MC through a commissioning event with the church service.    
  6. These new MCs began again at Steps 1 & 2

Whether you’re a member of our Church Plant and MC or not, Please comment if you think that there’s something that is needed.  If you’d like a copy of the excel doc or the material please let me know.

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Missional Training #11 – Things to Consider Before Starting a New Missional Community

The Core Group of our Church plant has been meeting for the last few months and we’ve come to a point where we are near ready to start a couple Missional Communities.  As we draw near the need to multiply, here are some things to Consider.

Where should we plant a Missional Community?

  • Is there a places for potential service nearby?
  • Are there any prospects or connections with the unchurched already?
  • Are there other Christians living in the area who are commited to the vision?
  • Do you have a meeting place available in the form of a house or apartment?

Who will lead in the MC? 

  • Who will be the primary leader of the MC?
  • Who will Colead? 
  • Is there a balance of Prophet, Priest, and King perspectives among the leaders? 
  • Do they know the DNA and vision of our church plant?  Do they unerstand Missional Communites?
  • Have they experience in leading the Story or coleading other elements in MC life? 

Who Could You Invite?

  • Vocation – Every Christian is a full time minister.  God just route our paychecks through different routes.  God has placed you in your job so that you could serve others well through those means, but also so that you might be a witness to others.  Who do you know at work that is unchurched?  Do you ever get together with them socially?  If not, how can you engaged them to grow your relationship?
  • Location  – All of us live in a place surrounded by people, even if we live in the country, there are people around us.  Do you know you’re neighbors?  Do you know who are churched or unchurched?  If so, who can you invite to your MC?  If  you don’t know your neighbors, get to know them.  Bring them over some extra soup, invite them to a party, serve them in some way.    
  • Recreation – All of us have hobbies that we enjoy.  God’s given us all unique skills and interests.  God has also given us all unique relational connections to others.  How can you use your passions and interests to connect with others?  Who are you already in relationship with that you can connect to other members of the MC or invite to an event?
  • Relations – Who in your family needs to know Jesus?  Can you invite them to social gathering of other MC members?  Would they enjoy The Story?  Would they join us in service projects? 

 For My Core Group:  To prepare for our next meeting, please think and pray over the questions above.  Pray for direction of the Holy Spirit, for open doors to Gospel conversations, and for coworkers and laberors.

Read the Gospel-Centered Life Chapter 12, Horizons.     Also, Is anyone interested in leading The Story this week?  Please let me know and I’ll get you the materials.

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