For the last 6 years my wife and I have been leading missional communities. During this same span we have coached and trained over 100 other leaders to lead Missional Communities in their context.
As we reflect upon this journey there are a few things that come to mind that stand out as essential for leading and multiplying a Missional Community.
We define a Missional Community as a group of 20-40 people who are committed to living as a Gospel Family on Kingdom Mission. One of the key ways we live in to this vision is through Predictable Patterns.
Below are 5 reasons why Predictable Patterns are crucial for leading multiplying Missional Communities.
1. Predictable Patterns create space to give people access to your life. One of the reasons that so many folks don't believe they can live a missional life is because they don't have a place to imitate. Through predictable patterns we are able to give others access to our lives in such a way that they can see how "simple" living a missional life can be.
2. Predictable Patterns create space to allow people to orbit through your life. As people want to have access to our lives it's important that we have predictable patterns in place that make it easy for them to "orbit" through on a repeatable basis. It's one thing to give people access; its quite another to offer continual places (orbits) for others to pass through on a repeatable basis. Whether its "guys night" once a month; open dinner every Wednesday; Family Night every other Friday; or Saturday Morning breakfast.....these (among others) all create space for people who want access to our lives to orbit through on a repeatable basis.
3. Predictable Patterns create space for you to identify a person of peace. A person of peace is someone who likes you, listens to you, and serves you. One of the difficulties we often hear from folks is their struggle to recognize a person of peace. We have found that through predictable patters we are able to see who is "orbiting" through our lives continually and drawing closer to us. As we become aware of these potential POP through Predictable Patterns we are able to discern who we need to invest in over the next season of discipleship.
4. Predictable Patterns create space to show others how to lead a Missional Community. As we identify a Person of Peace who feels a call to lead a Missional Community we want to empower them to live in to that call and "do greater things." Predictable Pattern become the imitative environment that we use when training others to lead an MC. Its one thing to give someone the information; it's quite another to invite someone to imitate you for an extended period of time to experience what its like to lead a Missional Community. Predictable Patters create that environment of imitation.
5. Predictable Patterns make leading a Missional Community light weight and low maintenance. Everyone is busy and everyone is fighting to make the most of their time. Our family is no different. Predictable Patterns make the flow and rhythm of life to feel light and easy. We simply live in a particular way with particular rhythms whether its only us or its others that are orbiting through. We don't have to "add" something to make the MC work we simply invite others in to what we are already doing; predictable patterns make that possible.
If people don't have access to your life its hard to create a sufficient orbit to recognize a person of peace to imitate how to lead a Missional Community in a way that is light weight and low maintenance (simple, memorable, and reproducible).
Amanda and I hope that this is helpful or at the very least will be a chance for you to feel empowered to lead and live as a Gospel Family on Kingdom Mission.
One of things that Amanda and I feel called to is to invest in to leaders and families who desire to run after this same vision. We are constantly coaching leaders in the things we have learned from the mistakes we have made and the success we have experienced.
If you or anyone you know are interested in exploring this coaching and consultancy we would love to hear from you. Please comment below.