Communities are a main part of our strategy at The Alliance. But what is a Community? We call them communities, but that’s just an abbreviated way to say “missional communities.” Here is a brief description of what a missional community is:
A Missional Community is a group of 20 to 50 people who exist, in Christian community, to reach either a particular neighborhood or network of relationships. With a strong value on life together, the group has the expressed intention of seeing those they are in relationship with choose to start following Jesus through this more flexible and locally incarnated expression of the church. They exist to bring heaven to the particular slice of earth they believe God has given them to bless. The result is usually the growth and multiplication of more Missional Communities. These MCs are networked within a larger church community allowing for both a scattered and gathered church. These mid-sized communities, led by laity, are “lightweight and low maintenance” and most often meet 3-4 times a month in their missional context. Each MC attends to the three dimensions of life that Jesus himself attended to: Time with God (worship, prayer, scripture, teaching, giving thanks, etc), time with the body of believers building a vibrant and caring community, and time with those who don’t know Jesus yet.
The three relationships in this definition, we call “up,” “in,” and “out.” “Up” refers to our relationship with the Father. “In” refers to our relationship with one another. “Out” refers to our relationship with those outside the family of Jesus. Our Communities intentionally live within these “up-in-out” relationships. They are a training ground for life-on-life discipleship and growing in our gifting. They are the primary place of being known, cared for, challenged, and seeing a Jesus-like life modeled. This is the primary way we plan to launch leaders into their giftedness and calling. We can't wait to see what God will do through his people as they begin to own the places and spaces God has placed them.