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Missional Community series | Post #3

January 21, 2011

We’re in a 4 month series on this blog about Missional Communities to celebrate the release of the new book, Launching Missional Communities: A Field Guide, as well as our time leading up to the Exponential Conference at the end of April.

Today’s post is a simple one, but one I think you’ll find particularly helpful and can serve as a tool to use for other people.

One of the things we talk about a lot in regards to Missional Communities is that they need to be balanced in the way that Jesus’ life was balanced. He had three definitive dimensions to his life, and so with MCs, we should have the same dimensions.

  • UP: time spent focusing on God
  • IN: time spent focusing on others in the body
  • OUT: time spent focusing on those who don’t know Jesus yet

If this is done well in the context of a spiritual extended family on mission together (groups of 20-50), the community, mission and discipleship that occurs through God’s Spirit is stunning.

Earlier today, Thomas Willer, a good friend doing some really exciting things in Copenhagen, sent me this picture of how they are teaching their community how these things relate. Thought this would be something worth sharing.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 3:50 pm

    Hi Mike. Loving the blog! Glad to see some stuff about balance in MCs. I’ve been reflecting on this a bit and also used UP IN OUT (being part of TOM!) to reflect. My thoughts were:

    UP – Glorify Jesus.
    IN – Grow as disciples (links up and out)
    OUT – Go together in mission

    I blog at and am part of Kairos Church in Harrogate. bless you for all you do to equip and disciple us.

  2. Allen Conner permalink
    January 21, 2011 5:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing…this is a good conceptual way to look at this.

  3. January 21, 2011 6:01 pm

    Love this!

    The magnetic pull toward IN at the exclusion of OUT is so strong, I appreciate that they labeled that extreme as “dying community”. Ironic that healthy community dynamics to the exclusion of the other dimensions can lead to introspection and ultimately death. Strong but appropriate language here.

  4. January 21, 2011 7:56 pm

    Mike-this is a very helpful visual, particularly when coupled to up-in-out and the overview of marks if a missional community from Keld Dahlmann. Will use these later on with Legacy. Tha.ks!

  5. January 22, 2011 12:56 am

    What does “secteric closed” mean?

    • January 22, 2011 4:17 am

      A sect, according to, literally means: a particular religious group characterized by insistence on strict qualifications for membership. So not only that, but one that is closed off to people outside of these strict qualifications. In other words, instead of having any sort of OUTward focus, they focus INward to the exclusion of OUT and seek to preserve what they currently have.

      • Bjorn Lervik permalink
        January 26, 2011 4:13 am

        Sounds like my church, and I’m the pastor! help!

  6. January 23, 2011 10:32 pm

    Great visual! Now comes the hard part—owning that which we are so we can repent.


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