I’d like to introduce you to my dear friend and inspiration, James, who will join me as an author on the blog from now on. We have been ‘partners in the gospel’ for over a decade now and he is pioneering a missional community in the northern suburbs of Paris. So he is in an excellent position to continue this blog’s focus of “learning to build missional community in secular France”. Look out for his posts coming in the near future!
It seems a long time ago since we decided to move from a home group to a missional community. May 2010. It is now September 2013, so we’ve been on this journey for three and a half years now. I blogged about what we had learned after six months and again after just over a year, and then the blog petered out somewhat, with not much content since 2011. Oops.
The reason for this was really a sense that we had no idea what we were doing – so why would anyone want to read about us? In the language of the 3DM Lifeshape Square, I was probably in the “D2” phase of disillusionment and discouragement. With a bit of distance now I see more of the journey we’ve been on, so hope to pick up the blog a bit now and bring you up to speed on the ups and downs we’ve experienced.
I hope these reflections of a ‘rank amateur’ will be useful to anyone actually trying to start, and lead a missional community.
Trying to live as an extended family on mission together is a new experience with a steep learning curve! Having recounted the broad sweep of our first year, I thought I would draw out the main lessons that I have learned over this period over the next few posts. Hopefully they may be of use to others on the same journey. So here we go, a little mini-series starting with…
1. Focus First On Developing Missional Lifestyles
Here are three simple ways we can increase our ‘relational connectivity’ and subsequent evangelistic effectiveness. Think of them as the 3 jokers from the quiz show ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’
- 50/50: invite at Continue reading
Last night we discussed another helpful concept that Andrew Baughen introduces in Therefore Go. Just as the blind man in Mark 8 goes through four stages in his restoration (meeting Jesus – being led by the hand – regaining partial sight – regaining full sight), Andrew proposes four stages that people tend to pass through before receiving God’s grace – and four steps that we can engage in to help people along the way:
Building relationships and making contact with people disconnected from God. Avoiding the trap of the ‘holy huddle’ where Christians spend all their time with each other. This is really about intentionally investing in relationships and Continue reading
I wish I had read the excellent little book Therefore Go by Andrew Baughen before our group reflected on our individual missional visions. In the book Andrew uses the word FRANK as a way to think through people with whom you have existing relationships.
- F – Friends (existing, lapsed and potential)
- R – Relatives (family members who Continue reading