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Top 10 Reasons Missional Communities Fail

June 6, 2011

Last week our new Director of Content ran a two-part series on his blog that blew up on Twitter titled, “10 Reasons Missional Communities Fail.” I thought we’d highlight a few of those reasons on this blog, and if you’d like to, read the whole post by jumping over to his blog by clicking here.

Reason #1:
 The Missional Community leader doesn’t know how to disciple the other leaders in the MC. This can result in a few different outcomes:

  • The Missional Community becomes the warped version of the culture they are trying to bring the Kingdom into. The leader doesn’t know how to disciple people to be missionaries to a culture, therefore they never truly learn how to be “in the world but not of it.” Because of that, they are more influenced by the culture than redeeming the culture they find themselves in. In this case, there is a lot more cultural relevance than there is Jesus.
  • The Missional Community becomes a very religious space and is all about who is in and who is out. Doctrine is used as a weapon of defense and not something that helps to describe the reality of God’s Kingdom. People who don’t know Jesus find the MC the equivalent of running into a brick wall. In this case, there is a lot more law than there is Jesus.
  • When people become Christians, there is no one to disciple them as neither the Missional Community leader or the other leaders in the group know how to disciple people. New believers become stagnant, and the life they were told about in the Gospel never comes to fruition and they become disenfranchised and divisions within the MC start to occur.

Reason #6: Too little mission…particularly at the start of the group.
If your MC is just starting, you need to do a LOT more mission than you do worship/teaching(UP) or times of hanging out with people already in the group (IN). You need to be out doing things that connect to Persons of Peace (people God has already prepared in advance to be open to you and your vision) in your mission context and then spending lots of time with them. If it doesn’t get into your DNA early…it won’t get in. Pragmatically, think of it this way: For every time you do something UP or IN focused in the first 3-4 months, you need to do AT LEAST 2-3 outward, mission focused things.

Reason #8: The Missional Community is a mini-Sunday service.
This is one of the more common mistakes people make. They don’t realize that a Missional Community is a FAMILY on mission together, so the task is to build a family, not an event. But because all they have seen most of their lives is a Sunday morning church service (i.e. event), they do that…just without the same quality or number of people to make it appropriate from a socio-dynamic perspective. These communities sink faster than an anvil in the ocean. If people who don’t know Jesus were interested in going to a worship service, they’d find one that’s done well with a number of people that allows them to observe in an anonymous fashion.

***Again, you can read the whole list by clicking here.

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