2015  Epworth  Sending Forth Service - Photo Credit: Ryan Klinck

2015 Epworth Sending Forth Service - Photo Credit: Ryan Klinck

The Missional Family
The Missional Community as a Means of Grace, Week 8
by Adam White

We were created for one another.

I believe that God’s missional desire for us as followers of Christ and sacred children of this earth is to enter into deeper loving relationships with one another.

The last few weeks we have been addressing what it means to live out our journeys of salvation missionally; how we need to show up and be aware of others in need and where God is leading us; how actively practicing mission requires an equal dynamic, one where we naturally grow in relationship with the people we serve with; and how we can expect to be transformed through God’s perfecting love as we serve with others. All of this leads us to that basic, but foundational, realization that – we, as God’s children, were created to live for one another in real, colorful, complex, and beautiful relationships.

Our emphasis for building more equal relationships with other people around us who are hurting or are in need, is not to gratify ourselves or to check-off a line-item of what we think God wants us to do. Our emphasis in caring and being cared for by others is to create a missional family.

This family is one where our struggles to care for one another are given room to be carefully reconciled by God’s Spirit. The missional family is a community of people who come just as they are and are celebrated for the gift of sacredness and life they each bring with them. How we ground ourselves in pursuing God through prayer, radical hospitality, and being transformed by love all support the communal salvation we are part of as a family.

As a missional family we explore what prayer practices might nourish us collectively. We strive to enter into this exploration with openness and vulnerability to experience God’s grace by learning from each family member’s unique perspective on prayer.

Through radical hospitality with others, we build and add to our family. How we receive others in service and let others receive us will shape how we practice mutual accountability as a family and with God.

Finally, through carving out room to be moved by God’s grace that is incarnate in the words and actions of our family, we are transformed communally by love. This is a love that transforms our yearnings and desires towards following God. As we follow God with our desires, our family becomes perfected in ways that further reveal God’s loving reality at work in the world.

Our salvation, much like our existence, is intricately, complicatedly, and beautifully linked to each other. And God would not have it any other way. Amen. 

Invitation to Missional Mindfulness:

  • Who is involved in your missional family? Who are the people you practice prayer, radical hospitality, and perfecting love with?
  • What prayer practices are life-giving to you individually? What practices have you experienced in community with others that have been life-giving?
  • Who around you might be yearning to experience God’s love through a missional family? How might you practice radical hospitality in receiving them or perhaps being received by them?