Theology of Community pt. 5: We are a missional community
This is the 5th and final part of a series where I’m trying to work out a theology of Community. How to think biblically about something that has become increasingly foreign to the cultures most of us live in: life together. This series hits at the heart of my blog’s title “life as we” because my hope is it directly confronts the “life as me” mentality we are immersed in. ( To be fair, in this post as well as in part 4, you will see it scripted a little more for small group leader training. I apologize where that may throw you off.)
Part 5: We are a missional community
Have you ever noticed in the bible how God seemed to go to great lengths to use people to accomplish his purposes? As we’ve said before in this training, people really are God’s plan A for carrying out his mission. People are the mission, and people carry out the mission. The apostle Paul says in 2 Cor 5 that we have been reconciled to God and are now entrusted with the message of reconciliation. We carry the message of reconciliation! Maybe the thought that catches me the most there is in verses 14-15. “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
We are controlled by the love of Christ. It steers our life. And we live for him. So that means you are about his business. And the bible tells you He loves your neighbor as much as He loves you. This is incredibly convicting for me to say because I know I don’t often live this, but its true. And because of the cross, What he loves you now love. What does he love? he loves people. He died for people. The more we are controlled by the love of Christ, the more we long to see people reconciled to him. God was adding people daily to the early church. how? Was he beaming christians into their boarded up homes? Of course not. Non-Christians were able to live daily amongst christians interacting, giving those christians an audience to proclaim the gospel to.
This is why we want to plant new groups in neighborhoods across RDU. So you can believe God for your neighborhood. Why would we settle for anything less? What does this mean for your group?
1. Pray, believing God will save people you know who aren’t christians THIS YEAR. I believe one of the biggest obstacles to people coming to faith through us is our own unbelief. We refuse to believe God might actually save people, so we hesitate to step out and act on a belief we don’t really have. If salvation belongs to God, and not to you, its really not your place to doubt God’s saving power. God’s power is often unleashed through the prayers of his people. So begin now praying for salvation to take place.
2. Create an environment that welcomes Non-Christians, then invite them. In a recent national survey of 18-35 year old Non-Christians, 61% said they would be willing to study the bible with a friend, and 46% said they would be willing to come to a bible study if invited by a friend. These numbers were higher for people over 35. Bottom line, people are more willing to engage the bible than you think. But its up to us to ask.
3. Create a strategy to raise up and plant new groups in new neighborhoods. We want you to see yourself, in one sense, as a missiologist for your neighborhood. That means networking with other local believers to reach a local area with the Gospel. Over the year we are going to teach you how to raise up and identify a small group leader you can send out to plant a new small group when your group celebrates it’s first birthday.
1. Read 2 Cor 5.11-21. What is Paul calling the church to believe? to do?
2. Who has God put in your circle of influence that do not follow Christ?
3.List out 10 or more people (christians or not) that might be willing to start this group with you if asked.