Why is important to have two plans for Missional Community Group?
Part of the challenge with Missional Community Groups is often so many people are in so many different places spiritually speaking. If you have been meeting for a while and your Missional Community Group is starting to look like a small group without new people you may want to focus your group more towards outward intentional sharing your faith through gospel conversations. We may all be more comfortable with people we know and like and those who are already believers, but comfort isn’t usually our friend and often it is the enemy of true faith. The idea behind MCG’s is that we are constantly, and intentionally looking for those whom God has placed in our everyday path both speak and show them Christ, or is often put to proclaim and demonstrate Christ. The idea is so that we don’t just serve God with our lips but also with our lives as we intentionally seek to make disciples.
The people in Missional Communities have the desire to go on a journey together, and you can do that through various types of teaching, either through a book of the bible, or a video series group study, can all challenge us to the deeper things of the ‘Why’ of our faith. You ask the “Why” what?
Why should we be missional? What’s the point?
For example we are preparing to do a study on “The Holiness of God” ? Therefore the question about this study, is how is that missional? It’s missional in the sense that this study helps us understand our God and His mission at a much greater level. It dives deep into the separation of Man and God and the complete otherness of God, and it is precisely because God sent his son Jesus Christ that we ‘Do mission’ in the first place. I’m a firm believer in God as our primary motivation for mission and I don’t believe throwing out good doctrine gets us anywhere but in a ditch. The fact of the matter is we have to be both missional and intentional in understanding the “Why?” of our faith, and going deep with Christ as our motivation for mission.
What does this have to do with Plan B, or pivoting?
One of the main things we do is we hope to culturally convince you that sharing our faith in more natural, less superficial ways is attainable through being more ‘fluent in the gospel’. In doing so we pray that God is empowering us by the Holy spirit to both go and invite people into the family of Christ. When we do this sometimes unbelievers will come in and when they come into an MCG about the “Holiness of God” although it’s a great place to start in understanding it may be a huge chunk to bite off on an unbelievers first evening. ( I’m not saying don’t explain the Holiness of God and I’m not saying don’t share the gospel. ) What I am saying is consider your audience.
You are planning on doing one thing, and several new people show up and now what?
When you have new people it’s often a judgement call but it’s a good time to call for plan B that evening. We need to make new people feel welcome, play a “get to know you game” and find out about one another. People have an innate desire to know others and be known by others. We should share testimonies that point to Christ and stories in front of the new people. We don’t need to force anyone new to share their testimony, but ask them if they’re interested in sharing either how they came to Christ or their story. Listening to people can be practiced here, and where they are believing or not believing the gospel for later conversations.
The point is we need to remain flexible in MCG’s when new people arrive so that they feel as if they are welcome and the demonstration of Christ towards them is visible by all who are Christ followers in the MCG. When everyone in the group is at a mature or somewhat mature level begin back with the series, but relationships seldom happen if people feel unwelcome, and ignored only to go through a particular lesson or curriculum. It’s always good to end the evening no matter what splitting the group out to ladies and gents and praying for more lost, and for one another’s needs if there is time. In doing so you’re teaching people, how to share their testimonies, you are going over the basics of the faith, you are encouraging people with the reminding people of the common ground we have in Christ. You are demonstrating vulnerability in being known, and leading by example in pursuing others who are not like you, just as Jesus did.
Therefore keep up the ‘mission out’, and invite the ‘mission in’, and when possible continue stretching existing believers within their understanding, to know God more through deep grounded theological studies that motivate people towards the mission in their ever increasing love for Jesus!