At the Branch, Missional Communities (MCs) are extended families that meet regularly in order to encourage and equip each other to live the kind of life Jesus lived. Each Missional Community will look different as it lives out its unique mission, but all of them share these common characteristics:
MCs are extended families of 20-50 people
MCs are not small groups. To be clear: we love small groups and believe they have an important purpose in helping to create close, intimate, accountable relationships. But an MC is larger than a small group and intentionally so. The size of an MC allows for more ‘mass’. In other words, it gives a group a large enough pool of resources and energy to chase after a common mission. Its size also is more welcoming than a small group to someone who is new.
MCs help people live a balanced life of UP, IN and OUT
- UP is about our relationship to God — our identity as children of the King. Jesus modeled an intimacy with the Father that we want to experience. And so just as Jesus spent time with the spiritual disciplines (prayer and fasting to name two), so too will MCs spend time doing those things that bring them closer to the heart of the Father.
- IN is about our relationship with each other. Jesus was always investing himself in his disciples. They got away on retreats – ate meals together – prayed – went to synagogue – all of it building community and trust. MCs will encourage and empower each other in ways that are ‘organized’ (i.e sharing a meal every week) and in ways that are more ‘organic’ (let’s head to the beach this Saturday and hang out).
- OUT is about our relationship to the world that God so desperately loves. We see Jesus having compassion for thosewho were on the outside, announcing the Good News to them. Everywhere he went, heaven came to earth. MCs follow Jesus’ lead by uniting around a common mission that helps bring the Good News to our world in a specific way.
1) Who’s invited to a MC?
Everyone. We can’t say that enough. You. Your family. Your friends. Your neighbors. Your coworkers. Anyone who you think would be blessed to be a part of an extended family pursuing a common purpose together.
2) Do I have to be able to commit to come every week in order to participate?
Not at all. We’d love for you to be there every week, but we know that life and sickness and schedules may mean that you miss some weeks. That’s ok. Come a couple times a month — or a couple times a year — honestly, we’ll be glad to see you whenever you’re able to make it.
3) What happens if I’m having one those weeks and can’t bring anything to share at dinner (most MCs regularly spend time eating together)?
Come. 🙂 Really. We want to see you, regardless of whether you bring food with you or not.
4) Do I have to come at the ‘official’ start time?
Nope – come whenever you can. Let’s say a MC starts at 5:30, but you can’t make it until 6 or 6:30 – it’s no problem. You’re welcome to come any time — even if it’s just stopping in for a few minutes.