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Missional Community

We recently finished the latest 7 week online learning community exploring the Biblical Principles of Missional Community. The course provides teaching, reflection and discussion to help us think about what it means to be communities of people helping one another to live as everyday missionaries, who befriend their neighbours, and invite them home to share life among the community, so they can grow in discipleship together. 

As with all of our online courses, the most common point of thanksgiving was for the depth fellowship we have in the learning community in meeting with people from different contexts, countries and church experiences. 

There were some wonderful discussions, good questions asked, answers wrestled with, powerful testimonies of God at work, and challenges to rethink some deep rooted ‘cultural Christianity.’ Below are just few of the ways the Lord was speaking to us through the course.

“I was sold on the concept long before I joined (this course). It was, however, extremely useful to see how the concept of house fellowships serves as a prism through which to read much of the New Testament. The structure of the class is also probably the clearest and most linear I have seen so far.”

“There have been a lot of “attractional Christianity” instead of Missional Christianity. I want to be able to integrate the things from this course into what my students are doing in hopes that I can give them a more Biblical rhythm of life.”

“I can see clearly how God has been encouraging me in my life of discipleship (through this course). Instead of feeling like I’m checking off on my “to-do” list morning devotions and Bible study, I’m longing for it and looking forward to what God will teach me in today’s reading.”

“The Lord continues to meet me in these reflections and teachings…confirming and convicting of the need to repent of temple hearts within missional community structures. The temptation on one hand is to drive into the pit of despair, “like how in the world did we end up here?”…the temptation on the other hand is to ignore the problems and keep on keeping on…but the last few weeks (on this course) have felt like Jesus and me walking down this path, aware of both sides, and continuing on through listening and sharing with one another. I/we as a church cannot just keep on keeping on and we also cannot just give up and sit in despair.”

“In his book “Life Together” Bonhoeffer writes something along these lines: “The Christ in our own hearts is often weaker than the Christ that is in the hearts of our brothers and sisters in faith”, and so we need one another to be faithful, to have a clearer picture of God when ours is foggy, and to spur each other to be both frank and clear in our proclamation of the Gospel. This is true at all times. But it is especially true during these days of chaos and insecurity many of us are experiencing.”

“The group has been encouraging and challanging me – as I hear/read what things are happening in their contexts. I find myself thinking about how some of their suggestions might work here in my world. My Band on the course encourages me to listen more closely to what the Holy Spirit is saying to me. I’ve been praying about how to start more Bands around me and I can see how house churches could really set the world on fire! I am awed and inspired by the missionaries in our cohort and realize that I can’t simply sit back and be satisfied with my own salvation – I need to get out into the mission field God has given me to make disciples who make disciples for the transformation of the world simply as a Christ follower and not as a member of a denomination or church.”

“I know that when we have Bible studies or Christian book studies, going deep is avoided by most and if preparing for the next meeting involves much effort it won’t happen. As for the ‘E’ word, it is to be avoided at all costs!! We have a pastor who talks about evangelism and witnessing to others but as for actually doing anything that comes close to evangelical witness? Well….think skull and crossbones. That comes a little too close to being a “Holy Roller”! And now (through this courseI hear Jesus whispering “What are YOU going to do about it?””

“I find that I can so much more relate to the old testament stories of the Israelites wandering in the desert. when they followed God, all was well but every time they thought they could do it on their own, and turned away from God, it didn’t go well…Are we ready? I am. What will it take for those who want to do it on their own to realize it’s so much easier than they realize? Time for me to get out of my “private space” and move WITH GOD into the “mission base”!”

If you would like to join in conversations like these, we would love to see you at an online learning community. There are lots of opportunities coming up to participate in different courses online. If you can’t see one you would particularly like to join in, let us know. We are always reviewing the schedule and trying to be flexible to provide courses when and where they are needed.

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