Missional Communities are the primary way we connect with others at CLC and live life together on God’s mission. Missional communities are small collectives of people who meet formally and informally throughout the week – in these relationships we mutually challenge and encourage one another to truly live out the gospel with each other (community), and among those with spiritual and physical needs (mission). Missional Community can be defined as a Family of Missionary Servants who make Disciples who make disciples.
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MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES WILL OPERATE AS:
A missional community is a small group of believers who live and experience life together like a family. We see God as our Father because of our common faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and the new life brought about by the Holy Spirit. This means we have and know of a divine love that leads us to love one another as brothers and sisters. We treat one another as children of God deeply loved by the Father in everything – sharing our money, time, resources, needs, hurts, and successes. We know each other well. This knowledge includes knowing each other’s stories and having familiarity with one another’s strengths and struggles in regards to belief in and application of the gospel to all of life. We speak the gospel truth to one another, regularly building each other up in love. We also love the people around them as if they were part of the family, showing them what the love of the Father looks like and in so doing inviting them to experience life in the family of God (John 1:11-13; Rom 12:10-16; Eph 5:1-2).
God’s family is also sent like the Son by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the good news of the gospel and to fulfill the commission of Jesus. A missional community is more than a bible study or a small group that cares for other Christians.
A missional community is made up of Spirit-led and filled people who radically reorient their lives together for the mission of making disciples in their neighborhoods, workplaces, communities, and cities. This means your schedule, resources and decisions are now collectively built around proclaiming the gospel to, meeting needs for, and sharing your lives with those who need Jesus’ salvation (Matt 3:16-4:1; Jn 20:21; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:2).
Jesus is Lord and we are his servants. A missional community serves those around them as though they are serving Jesus. In doing so, we give a foretaste of what life will be like under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. Living as servants to the King who serve others as he served, presents a tangible witness to Jesus’ kingdom and the power of the gospel to change lives. A missional community serves in such a way that it demands a Gospel explanation – lives that cannot be explained in any other way than by the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matt 20:25-28; Jn 13:1-17; Phil 2:5-11; 1 Pet 2:16).
We are all learners of Jesus who has given us his Spirit to teach us all that is true about Jesus and enable us to live out his commands. Jesus commanded us to make disciples who believe the gospel, are established in a new identity and are able to reproduce themselves by preaching the gospel to others (Matt 28:19-20). The missional community is the best context in which this can happen. We are committed to welcoming broken people and making church accessible to unbelievers. We will not let our welcome be dependent on adherence to any cultural norms not demanded by the gospel. Disciples are made and developed: 1) through life on life, where there is visibility and accessibility 2) in community, where they can practice living as a family, and 3) on mission where they learn how to proclaim the gospel and make new disciples.
Our hope is that every person who is committed to Covenant Life Church will be fully involved in a Missional Community so that Covenant Life will indeed display God’s glory through becoming a gospel-centered community that works for the gospel renewal of Tampa and all nations.