I’ve heard a few comments lately about how quickly this missional community is forming. I think part of the confusion is that we still think of Christian community from an organizational perspective rather than an organic one. What do I mean by this?
In regards to our newly forming missional community, Mark, Barb, Deb and I have been experiencing deep Christian community for years as staff at our local church. Although being on staff was a form of community from an organizational perspective, our friendship and love for each other and our common goal to become like Christ far exceeded the organizational structure. That friendship, love and purpose around a Christ-centered goal is organic community, because it exists regardless of the organizational ties. And the same is true for those who choose to be part of this missional community outside of our local church structure. Those people have been in the same type of organic missional community with us as well.
In reality our organic missional community (love, fellowship and common purpose) has existed for years within the structure of our local church. It has found expression at times within organization structures like Bible studies and ministries, but it exists even when those structures are removed. So as we explore God’s calling as a distinct entity apart from our local church, it is simply another expression of the community that has existed for years. And since it has already existed organically for a long time, it’s quickly finding its expression as we anticipate moving beyond our local church.