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Missional Communities series | Post #10

February 17, 2011

So here we are, in the midst of our 4 month series on Missional Communities. So far we’ve had some helpful insights and tools to use with the people you’re leading as well as a story or two.

Today, we’re going to turn our sights to another story of a Missional Community.

Brian Williamson is leading The Bridge Bible Church in Somerset, WI. They’ve been in one of our Learning Communities and are really leading the way in putting disicpleship and mission in the center of everything they do.

Here’s a quick story of one of their Missional Communities:

As a lead pastor, it has been my greatest joy to see decentralized ministry actually happen.  Through the encouragement and accountability of huddle, Craig and Jessica Porter have launched a missional community called AgapE.  Their missional focus is bridging the “gap” between Apathy and Empathy through self-sacrificing love (hence, A “gap” E).  Their mission focus group is simply non-Christian friends in their sphere of influence.  Although there is not an age focus, the axiom that like attracts like has held true and the group is dominantly made up of young families with kids.  They have done such things as:

-helping one of their own get a house ready to move into.
-Couples weekend away where there was some real breakthrough in relationships.
-picked up trash around the Somerset Community.
-held baptisms/had a party at a local lake.
-hung Christmas lights at an area elderly home.

They meet once a month for a meal/ministry night, in huddle and other discipling groups on off weeks and their goal is an “OUT” type event once a month as well.  From my vantage point looking in on AgapE, I would say that everything works and nothing doesn’t. What I mean is that no matter if an event was low attended or if there has been relational challenges or lack of clarity or a hesitance to know exactly what’s next, they are doing something!  Proverbs 14:23 says that All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.    The biggest challenge in our setting for all of our missional communities has been identifying what kinds of OUT activities/foci work in a small town setting.  Craig and Jessica as fantastic leaders are surfing the wave well and God is giving them fresh direction and vision for seeing breakthrough in the lives of new folks.   I am honored to see the way God has and is using AgapE.  If you were to ask the members how they feel, hand down, this is their extended family.  They are learning well and making mid-course corrections to fulfill their mission.

Seeing missional communities get traction has been a slow burn but in the words of the old school hymn, “I have decided to follow turning back, no turning back.  Though none go with me, still I will follow…”  We’d have it no other way and are passionate about seeing a discipling culture continue to take shape no matter what the cost.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. tim bergren permalink
    February 17, 2011 4:56 pm

    Love to see their kids involved too! Keep it going God, AgapE and B-Will!

  2. Jason Rallis permalink
    February 21, 2011 11:26 pm

    that’s an awesome testimony. Thanks!

    It’s a great reminder too that your MC’s OUT mission doesn’t have to be the target people group your trying to reach. You will attract ‘like’ people no matter what your doing. I keep getting caught up in thinking that your MC’s OUT has to target the people you are trying to reach.

    • February 23, 2011 3:15 am

      Having people who are seeking God for a MC vision process the question “Is my focus a neighborhood or network?” is really helpful to narrow the mission focus. Some mission statements are so broad anyone could be a part and that’s not so helpful in measuring effectiveness from my vantage point. Peace!

      • Jason Rallis permalink
        February 23, 2011 5:32 am

        Yeah. That’s a great focus question. Thanks!


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