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do you have questions?

November 15, 2010

Obviously we just released what many are calling the definitive book on MCs: Launching Missional Communities: A Field Guide.

We’re expecting somewhere between 50-60 book reviews to be coming out on various blogs, the first of which you can read here. Pretty excited by all of this.

As for this blog, over the next 3-4 months we are going to do a comprehensive series focusing on Missional Communities (probably beginning in the next 2 weeks). It will cover practical components, stories of Missional Communities, interviews with pastors and MC leaders, ideas for MCs, etc.  We are in the process of shaping this series as we speak.

To help us, here’s what can you do: What questions do you have about MCs that you would like for us to cover in the next few months?

We can’t promise to get to each one, but we’ll do our best to tackle a lot of your questions.

So let the commenting begin!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim Catchim permalink
    November 15, 2010 4:27 pm

    Mike,

    I am very curious about how you guys see the transition process from “small group” to MC. Maybe even from 8-15 people going to 20-50. I am looking at this from a church planting perspective for folks who start out with 8-15 people as their start up group. Most small groups have diverse callings that emerge if they started out as a small group and not a group of folks who gathered around a coherent vision for reaching a particular target people group. In your experience of seeing this transition happen, what does this transition look like and what are some rough spots/challenges in the transition process. Thanks for your plans on doing a blog series. Very practical idea, I will be all ears bro.

  2. Bob Wiiliams permalink
    November 16, 2010 6:08 pm

    Breaking out of the church box some months ago,and seeing the local needs that the local churchs are not meeting(poor, needy,drug and alcohol addiction, child abuse and neglect, also there is no discipleship) also 85% ot the pop. in my county that do not go to any church in the county. We travel 1 hr. to attend Browns Bridge Community Church, one of North Point churches.
    My heart grieves for the lost and needy here and I’ve struggled with what can I do to bring something like 3dm here. Perhaps your the answer. Thanks for some hope(?) Bob

  3. Brian permalink
    November 18, 2010 1:04 pm

    There are more obvious material needs in a urban context (poor, homeless etc) How would a MC work in a rural or even middle class suburban context? Where the obvious needs are not there.

  4. Jason Rallis permalink
    November 18, 2010 8:33 pm

    Hey Mike – Thanks for this opportunity to ask questions.

    I’m not sure if my question is answered in the field guide or not, so sorry if I’m redundant.

    I lead our church’s Young Adults Ministry called Chapter 29. Currently we are operating in a simple cluster type model. We have about 4 (8-15 people each) Small Groups that meet weekly and monthly we gather everyone together for fellowship or an OUT project. All those people also attend a Sunday morning service. We are wanting to move more toward MCs, and my question is how specific should our OUT focus be? Right now our focus is just an age group, 18-29 year olds. We live next to a jr. college so we have that demographic waiting to be reached. But it doesn’t seem like we will get the full potential of a MC unless we can get more specific about the target/focus.

  5. November 19, 2010 5:35 pm

    Mike,

    Love the L.M.C. book so thank you for that. My question comes out of our situation, which is a small core group (just under 10) looking to engage with a network of relationships in our area, mainly young families.

    To get to critical mass we would rather include ‘people of peace’ in the MC than recruit a mass of Christians to fill the ranks. But how can you create the situation where non-Christians feel ownership of a community that (p124) “together follow Jesus as His disciples, even if not every person may yet describe him/herself as a Christian”.?

    I can understand a core (Christian) team building community with non-Christians, but find it hard to picture how non-Christians can feel belonging/ownership of that community. Are non-Christians going to want to engage in OUTward mission or hear people talking about People of Peace without feeling unconfortable/targeted?

    I’m sure this mix of both is possible but I need some examples, some illustrations, some explanation…

    For me this is a really key thing to get my head around. Perhaps the difference is just between leadership and participation, but please do address this if you can.

    Blessings and thanks again.

  6. November 23, 2010 12:44 pm

    probably lots of questions, here’s a few for starters:
    1: friction between youth msc’s and family msc’s? if there is outreach to families, should young people fit into that with parents, or is it more pragmatic to enable youth to gather together?
    2: how msc’s are viewed by others? So if a msc exists in good accountability, low control, and is released from the centre, but has some accountability to centre leader, should it be seen as it’s own existence, or as completely part of the central body? IE, could a youth msc, reaching out to the area, funded by many different people be seen as exisitng independantly, but with high accountability, or should it be seen as completely part of the Church it belongs too within that netowrk?
    3: Is community a bettter deffinition of how God would want us to gather together, as Church has many connatations ttached to it?
    4: if reaching a network, rather than neighbourhood, relationships become messy and all over the place, due to nature of netowrk, how messy should we be involved, or should we pull out at certain points?
    enough for now, i’m sure others have loads.

  7. November 27, 2010 9:44 pm

    I know that the whole idea of a MC is to have an organic flow when you meet together, but I was wondering what a typical MC gathering might look like. How do you transition from just getting together, eating and throwing a party to spiritual formation? Do you just wait for those who come to bring up spiritual topics, or are you intentional about bringing up a topic that you can talk about? How do you keep it from becoming a bait-and-switch where you throw a party and then try to preach to a “captive” audience?

  8. December 4, 2010 5:21 pm

    Two relatively new multi-denominational evangelical networks, The Gospel Coalition and Together For The Gospel, gather annually under a “gospel” banner. Some of this appears to be a reaction to the western church’s neglect of the essentials “once for all delivered to the saints”.

    1. How do you define “the gospel”?
    2. How would you distinguish “the gospel” from “the bible”?
    3. What gospel pitfalls or misunderstandings have you experienced?

  9. Dave Hammond permalink
    December 21, 2010 3:40 pm

    I’m church planting in Nottingham with a lot of support from Philly.
    I find I’m often bouncing MC ideas off Organic church ideas.
    We wondered what you thought the fundamental differences where in theology and praxis between Neil Cole’s simple churches and an MC.
    Sung worship seems to be the most obvious, closely followed by teaching and leadership style/role, but surely there’s more to it than that?

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