Missional Community for Sanctification
Every Sunday this summer night our Missional Community leaders have gathered for training and Community. This past Sunday evening our Missional Community leaders plotted out the launching or re-launching of 9 Missional communities. This brought be back to considers how Missional Community aids in sanctification, or spiritual growth.
One morning while reading in 1 John chapter 4, I was struck with the notion that God gave us to church for our own good. Each Missional Community is a small group of believers intentionally gathering around the Gospel… in essence each Missional Community is a like a tiny church. This informs us that God gave us Missional Community for our own good. Let me explain.
Missional Communities are places where you can know others, and be known; they are places where you can be loved and cared for by others, and where you can learn to love and care for others.
While I encourage you to read all of 1 John 4, I will highlight a few verses below.
Vs. 7: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God…
Vs. 11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Vs. 18: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Vs. 20: For he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
The Gospel first offers to us God's unconditional love, then calls us to love our brother. Christ's care for us informs how we are too care for our brother unconditionally in his time of need. God has given us the church, the local body of Christ, and by extension our Missional Communities, as a safe place to learn to how we are loved and how to love others. Missional Communities are to be a place of receiving and given Christ-saturated grace and mercy.
Missional Communities do not exist for our own self-fulfillment, so we can be happy. They exist so that the church might learn that they are loved so that the world can experience love originating from Christ. A focus on the gospel makes this a reality. We can be vulnerable and care for the vulnerable.
For: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” –John 13:35.