Learning the Missional Rhythms
1. Missional Communion
A way of connecting with God together that shapes our life patterns so that we are no longer shaped by those of this world but changed from the inside out and thereby can impact people in our neighborhoods.
2. Missional Relating
A way of loving one another that stands in contrast to the typical relational patterns of the culture, a life of mutual service and self-sacrifice that is visible to others and impacts them.
3. Missional Engagement
A way of being with people in our neighborhoods (friends, next-door neighbors, family members, co-workers) that displays Christ’s love in tangile ways.
Below are all 21 Missional Rhythms.
Rhythms of Missional Communion
The church knows how to do formal worship. But what about worship in a living room? What about worship with friends?
Practicing the Presence
Nothing sets God’s people apart like the presence of God. But do we actually expect to meet with God in our groups? If not, why not? What might it look like to meet with God regularly and go beyond the Bible study mentality?
How do we practice silence and solitude as a private discipline but do it together? Usually we think of this individualistically, but there is a way of being “alone together” before God. How do we practice this?
How does a group of people practice the art of listening to God together? How might God speak to “you” for “me”? And how do we create space for such an experience?
The way we spend our time and money relates directly to our worship of God. In our culture we idolize things. If we don’t let others in on this part of our lives, we won’t change this pattern.
Traditions usually address this in one of five ways in their formal services. There is an alternative way of doing this around a meal, while at the same time not throwing out any of the current formal traditions of communion.
Our ability to rest relates to our ability to trust, both God and others.
This practice seems to have shaped the Old Testament people of God as much as any other. What bearing does this have on us as a New Testament people? How can we practice Sabbath today in our 24/7 world?
Rhythms of Missional Relating
A Primary Group
Most people have lots of shallow relationships, but they lack a primary group of people who will walk with them and point them toward the kingdom.
A Safe Place
How do we create relationships that are safe, where there is both honestly and freedom along with accountability and challenge?
Greeting one another well is about developing listening skills. Often church leadership overlooks this simple piece, and it undermines people’s ability to relate to one another.
Pressing through Conflict
Relationships are messy. Of this there is no doubt. We must learn to work through conflict and refuse to give up on others. This requires some new relationship skills.
Community in our culture must call for face-to-face contact. At the same time we must deal with the reality of how the internet and cell phones are impacting our ability to interact with one another.
Build Up Each Other
Encouragement that flows out of the heart of God through his people for others is essential to God’s kind of community. What does this look like in practical terms?
Family Life and Small Groups
Too many times the group is seen as separate from the family connected to each group member. If true relationships are going to be developed, then the group must determine how to connect the two.
Initiation into the Community
How does a group practice baptism in a way that communicates that new Christians are being initiated into Christ AND into Christ’s community?
Rhythms of Missional Engagement
Moving into the Neighborhood
One of the keys to engagement is just being present in our neighborhoods. This requires the risk of putting ourselves out there and beginning to engage other people.
We need to learn to say “no” to a lot of “good” stuff in order to be involved in God’s mission. This may mean saying “no” to some church activities so that we have time to engage the people and needs in our world.
We are present in the neighborhood as agents of peace in the midst of turmoil. What does this look like? What are some ways that work in our specific contexts to take peace to people?
What is God already doing in and through the people and systems around us? We don’t have to generate God’s mission. God is already at work. We only need to see what the Spirit is doing and get involved.
Opening up our homes to one another is essential to knowing each other. How do we do this in our time-starved world? How do we eat together in our fast-food world? We must address the reality of these questions.
Ask the question: What does God want to do? There are injustices in our world that are crying out for God’s people to show up and offer justice.
Speaking the Gospel
Instead of a canned approach, we must learn to communicate Christ in relationships with others, viewing them as equals, not as people to be won over to our way.