In the last year, I believe we’ve most simply honed it down to these 5 essential ingredients of a Missional Community:
• Size of an extended family. A missional family is best understood in the range of 20-50 people, as it is small enough to care but large enough to dare. From much experience, I’d say it can be difficult to sustain long-term missional activity for a group smaller than this.
• UP/IN/OUT. Intentionally lives out the three dimensions of Jesus’ life. UPward dimension of life with the Father, INward dimension of life with the Body of Christ together, OUTward dimension of fully stepping into a broken world.
• Clear mission vision. Who is this Missional Community trying to bring the Kingdom of God to? The most successful MC’s have a very clear answer that could only be true of their group.
• Lighweight/Low maintenance. If the Missional Community can’t be led by people with normal 9-5 jobs who aren’t paid to do it, it’s not lightweight and low maintenance enough. It’s got to be simple and reproducible.
• Accountable leaders. The person(s) leading the Missional Community need to be accountable to others so there exists a dynamic of low control and high accountability. It’s one thing to say you hold people accountable, it’s another thing to do this well.
If done well, these can lead to the incredible phenomenon of a scattered and gathered church where it is the lay leaders of the church being released to the edges of the missional frontier, seeing extraordinary Kingdom breakthrough