Jesus invites his followers into a whole new way of life dedicated to serving others rather than a life devoted to self. As disciples, we live in a dynamic community that grows together and cares for each other’s needs, and this same community functions as the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. We live as servants to our neighbors while we do our best to model the kingdom of God and share the good news of the gospel. When you bring these age-old teachings together, you have missional community.
Living in community—with an active mission to love others—is a way to respond with intentionality to the invitation for all Jesus followers. Meeting in smaller groups of people centered around a neighborhood, justice need, or common mission, we pray, eat, and spend time together as we focus on living out Jesus’ teachings.
Each Missional Community has three identities:
- Family: We live alongside each other. We share meals, resources, joy and hardships while we care for one another as the family of God.
- Missionary: Missional Communities pursue active ways to publicly live out our faith, share the gospel and tangibly embody the kingdom of God in our communities. This is often centered around a common cause (local foster care, a specific business/organization, etc.) or a general neighborhood area.
- Disciple: Missional Communities actively encourage each other in the study of Scripture, learning the teachings of Jesus, becoming more like him, and living as his disciples in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a missional community?
We define a Missional Community as “a family of missionary disciples.” These communities are groups of people that live as brothers and sisters, eating, praying, and living life together. Living as “missionaries,” we join in Jesus’ kingdom work in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and cities. And finally, as disciples, we study and encourage each other to grow in knowing and following Jesus.
What does a missional community look like?
Like families, all missional communities look a little different, and that’s great! The 3 core elements of missional community are family, mission and discipleship. Whether you start with 3 members or 12 members, the important thing is to start with a foundation of people who are following Jesus by living life together, like sharing meals and caring for each other (family), partnering to share Jesus and serve their community in some way (mission), and intentionally pursuing deeper relationship with Jesus, together through scripture study, prayer and conversation (discipleship).
What do I need to do before starting a missional community?
There are no prerequisites to starting or joining a missional community, and you have the freedom to initiate a new one any time! It’s about relationships, not a formula. However, we do offer a variety of resources if you want help finding or planning a community. If you’re ready to start one, go for it! We’d love for you to inform us about your community so we can keep in touch with you and potentially connect you with other people in your region who are also looking for community.
Email email@example.com for more information.
How can I join an existing community?
We keep in touch with the communities whose leaders have informed us about their group. If you want to join an existing community, you can answer a few questions on our online form and we will get in touch with you about which communities might be the best fit based on your needs and what you want to bring to a community. We are dedicated to making sure that everyone who inquires about a community is contacted so that they can get connected
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
Am I required to be in a missional community as part of River’s Edge?
Regardless of your status within community, you are welcome and accepted at River’s Edge. We talk about missional community a lot because the elements of family, mission, and discipleship are absolutely central to the teachings of Jesus. We want to experience and share the fullness of life that comes from following Him as missional families. Because we care deeply about the church and the city, we regularly encourage the church to live as a bunch of unique missional families that invite the kingdom of God into our homes, workplaces, shops, and anywhere we go where people need the love of Jesus. That’s everywhere!
What is the purpose of Launch class?
Launch classes are a great resource for those looking to join or start missional communities. We’ll share the basic rhythms and roles involved in a missional community, how to join one, and what to expect.
Email email@example.com to learn more.
Are there any Bible studies I can join?
River’s Edge encourages every Jesus follower to study the Bible and then put it into practice. Most missional communities study the scriptures in smaller groups that meet regularly to practice discipleship, at the same time living out the scriptures in their city on a daily basis.
River’s Edge encourages all Jesus followers to study scripture because reading the Bible is one way we can hear from God on a daily basis and discover how to respond with our lives. At River’s Edge, studying the Bible together is a key element of discipleship within missional community, rather than a standalone group offered through the church. Within family, there’s freedom to ask questions about the Bible and encourage each other to put what we’re learning into practice. While challenging us to grow as individuals, Jesus also shows us how to love and serve our neighbors, and that’s where community becomes missional, because it’s not all about us!
Why is missional community so important to River’s Edge Church?
Living in missional community is a response to Jesus’ instruction to make disciples and do life together. That’s why being part of a missional community is our earnest invitation for each member of the church to participate in a collective kingdom vision. We believe that Jesus came to offer life for all. While the people of Jesus experience richness and growth in missional community, they also partner in sharing the love of Jesus with those who don’t know him yet.