We are honored to welcome writer Ramon Mayo for another guest post here on the Multiply Vineyard Blog.
In my last post we talked about what missional communities are not. Stopping right there would not do us any good. The question remains: What are missional communities? So here are 6 fundamentals of missional communities in the Vineyard.
1. Missional communities in the Vineyard are extended families.
They are 40-50 people. They are bigger than a small group but smaller than a congregation. The size of a missional community shapes the impact of the gospel in a particular context. Imagine a group of 40-50 people living in community incarnating the gospel in their neighborhood or among a specific people group. The impact would be exponential.
2. Missional communities in the Vineyard are focused on a neighborhood or people group.
They seek to join what the Father is doing in their context. In order to do that they live and work and play among a particular people group. Their mission is well defined and they are not seeking to live out the gospel among an ambiguous group of unbelievers somewhere “out there”.
3. Missional communities in the Vineyard eat together.
The early church was centered around the table and missional communities seek to replicate that practice. Relationships and connection happen around the table. Missional communities seek to imitate Jesus who shared some of his most intimate and powerful moments while eating.
4. Missional communities in the Vineyard are gospel centered.
The motivation for missional communities is not millennial church angst. They are not fueled by new church innovation or trying to look cool. Looking cool is not the point. Joining God and His mission is the top priority. Living out the gospel in everyday life distinguishes missional communities from just a small group meeting. Missional communities are fueled by the good news of a God who sent His Son on a mission to die in order to save the world. Any other motivation will not be able to sustain a community for more than a short time.
5. Missional communities in the Vineyard are pro-church.
Similar to being gospel centered missional communities are pro-church. They are not isolated gripe sessions. They are a part of the universal church and a form of church. The point is not to say this is the only model. Missional communities are not the only model of church. Missional communities are pioneering a different way of doing things that can potentially help the church in the Western world (especially in urban secular environments) gain traction with the gospel.
6. Missional communities in the Vineyard are focused on making and multiplying disciples.
The main point of missional communities is to multiply. A missional community is an environment that caters to life on life discipleship. It is an incubator for gospel virality. For a genuine missional community leader there is no other reason for existence except multiplication. If it’s just to rub each other’s backs and feel good about ourselves in a Christian bubble then it’s off track. Multiplication is the watchword and mission is the passion.
So those are the 6 fundamentals of missional communities in the Vineyard. Any things that you think I missed? Any questions? Share in the comments.
Ramon Mayo is the former pastor of a multiethnic Vineyard church in the Los Angeles area. Now he is a leader at the South Suburban Vineyard Church in Flossmoor, IL and works as a writer and editor. His three main passions are for mission, diversity, and discipleship. You can read more from Ramon at his website or check him out on Twitter.