Christ-centered fellowship communities are the core of the Church and its mission. Jesus called 12 disciples into a fellowship community with him. These disciples brought others– family, coworkers, neighbors — to Jesus, creating a larger community of believers. Jesus then sent 72 disciples out, two by two, to share the Good News and the kingdom of God. (Luke 10:1)
Many of Christ’s followers became active in missional community with Him because someone was connected to them, invited, encouraged and mentored them as a disciple of Jesus. Many became spiritual game changers for the lives of others; John pointed to Jesus, “Look, the Lamb of God!” Andrew heard John, believed, and first went and invited his brother Peter. John 2:35-45. Andrew brought Peter, Philip brought Nathaniel.
They saw Jesus, in action, in communities, using cultural, current, and common communication to engage in conversation with people and changing lives for eternity. These followers, disciples of Jesus, reached out to their neighbors and their missional communities grew. They came. They saw. They followed. The invited others into a community of followers of Jesus.
They used what they had and who they were to invite people from their community to be a disciple of Christ. Fishermen sought fishermen; tax collectors to tax collectors, women to women, neighbors to neighbors, encouraging, inviting and engaging each other in their respective communities to be in a community with Christ. As the early Christian community came together after the ascension, there were 120 men and women in this missional fellowship (Acts 1:15) praying and participating together as a disciple-making, evangelistic community. The disciples continued to build community, as they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch…and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem. Acts 6:7
As the church grew, Christs’ disciples, including Paul, built Christ-centered communities out of households of faith. Spirit-inspired believers worshiped in community; they gladly hosted and attended missional gatherings, changing their lives and the lives of others, because they were all in a community of believers.
Today, many of our churches demonstrate this missional outreach, as good neighbors sharing the Good News of Christ. And you can too!
Ten Simple Ideas!
- Community Block Parties
- Public Servant Appreciation Events
- Health Care Screening
- Senior and Single Parents House Repair and Yard clean up
- Mentoring and Tutoring Classes
- Back to School Supplies Giveaways
- Shopping Assistance for Shut-ins and Elderly
- Food and Clothing Banks
- After School and Summer Camp Activities, and Schools.
I hope these ideas will serve as a starting point for many others that work best in your community. Use your own creativity to make welcoming environments where people can connect in community to Christ.
Heavenly Father, help me help people see Jesus in a community of faith. Open my heart in your love to those around me, so that I share Your Good News. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.