FAQs: Expectations for New Missional Communities

Here are some pointers of what we would expect a Missional Community to look like.

1. Christ centred

a) gathered because of Christ (motivation)
b) gathered for Christ…His glory, His gospel, His people (purpose)

2. Mission shaped

a) Formed because of a particular mission focus: key reason of existence is mission (defined as taking the gospel to others)
b) shaped by the context in which they meet
c) expressing the welcome of God, the all-encompassing nature of the gospel

3. Community

a) They must involve more than one believer: this is not about my individual witness but is about communal witness
b) They are therefore made up of like-minded people in terms of the area in which they wish to see the gospel penetrate.
c) As community they will demonstrate the natural attributes of Christian living toward one-another, namely care, love, support and prayer. Having mission as the focus does not negate mutual care and support.
d) They seek to connect with the community in which they are based so as to be a visible expression of the Church in the locality.
• This may be through service of the needs in the community
• This may be through having fun together
e) They seek to sow the seed of the gospel and watch what emerges

4. Connection and Accountability

a) To begin with individuals in missional communities remain part of their home Church. That is, the missional community does not replace the existing connection of South, west, North etc
b) Accountability for individuals regarding their own Spirituality remains as it was before the missional community began. i.e. with their own personal pastor, mentor, local leaders
c) Accountability for the missional group as a whole is likely to re-side with the church base from which most members of the group come, unless there are compelling reasons why this should be different.
d) If a particular missional group has compelling reasons why it should be released from its local Church at the beginning this will be considered, but is not the normal beginning.
e) Leadership will emerge as the group develops, and needs to be clear before the group are released from their local Churches. Having said that we expect a very participative and communal approach to leadership.

5. Becoming a new Church Community

a) Over time the seed of the gospel may reap the fruit called Church; i.e. there may be an increasing gathering of believers, preferably through new birth, but maybe through others joining.
b) If, in conjunction with the person/people to whom the group is accountable, this is discerned as happening then consideration will be given to changing the connection of the missional group
c) At this stage it would be expected that there would be significant place given to the scriptures and to worship within the integrity of the missional group. Otherwise it needs to remain connected explicitly to the home church.
d) Discussion would then take place between the missional group and the home church to ascertain how best it will remain accountable and connected. It is likely that accountability will remain as it was when starting out, but this is a good time to re-visit.
e) Leadership will be recognised and established.
f) At this point the missional group will be recognised as a Church in its own right, connected as part of the BCC’s family, but having become more than a missional group.

6) Resourcing the new Churches

a) Resourcing in terms of personal support will continue to come from the place of accountability, described above.
b) Further resource will be available through the apostolic team.
c) Other ministries will also be available to support.
d) It will be expected that the place of breaking of bread, baptism, and body life will be developed within this community.

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Basingstoke Community Churches

The Sarum Hill Centre Sarum Hill Basingstoke RG21 8SR 01256 316000

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