In the last few years I have been exposed to all types of new terms related to churches and small groups. One such term is “missional community.” There seems to be a push in the western church to think of small group ministry not as bible studies, fellowship groups, “life” groups, etc. but as missional communities. As I have read literature and spoken with those involved in the missional community movement, I have wondered what the difference is between a missional community and a simple church. It seems that a simple church should be a missional community. However it also seems that a missional community may not be a simple church as many understand simple church.
It seems that many missional communities remain connected to traditional church structures in ways that simple churches often do not. Primarily, missional communities still see a weekly worship service as a vital part of their church life, while those in simple churches will still take park in something like a large worship service–but much less frequently (we will do that only 4-6 times a year).
Why does this distinction matter? Because it would be unfortunate if we failed to see the similarities in what God is doing in His Church! It seems that across the board He is calling His people to be the church and to simplify our understanding of what it looks like when the church gathers. Is this missional community featured in the video below a great picture of what simple church is all about?
I welcome your feedback and thoughts...