Take the Missional Challenge is a 31 Day experience designed to help align believers with Jesus’ mission. Each day’s post includes missional concepts and activities. For more information – click here.
Following Jesus is not a solo act! God designed every believer to live in relationship with other Christians – to “be Jesus” with each other. That’s incarnational community!
Incarnational Community is a group of believers with the heart of Jesus – they physically represent Jesus in a particular location.
The mission of Jesus is experienced and fulfilled together with other Christians in community! As a result of living in Biblical community with one another, the early Christians in Acts experienced God’s power and presence in their lives. People sensed the Hand of God. God was working in their lives.
“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 5:42). Early Christians kept on telling others about Jesus! They were not ashamed of the gospel, because it is “the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16).
The Church is not a place or a program. It is people. Every Christian is part of the Church! It is God’s intent for believers to thrive out in the culture! Imagine the impact of believers who live in authentic relationships and open up their homes to one another and are loving on each other and helping each other and sharing meals together all week long. They’re not just waiting until Sunday morning at “church” to share or care for one another – but they are living it incarnationally all week long.
In Acts 2:47, another result of authentic, biblically-functioning community is that people were coming to faith in Jesus. “And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.” The family of God grew and expanded as more and more people believed in Jesus and were adopted into the family.
In John 13:34–35, Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
There are two assumptions in that verse: 1) Christians really do love each other like Jesus loves; and 2) People who do not know Jesus are close enough to see that love. When non-believing people see how Christians love each other and care for each other because of their commitment to Christ, they want to experience it too.
“Community cannot be created in isolation, nor does it happen without action. It requires people to navigate the tensions of interpersonal relationships. Creating community doesn’t come easily, but when it happens, the rewards are worth the effort” (Halter and Smay, The Tangible Kingdom Primer)
DAY 29 ACTION STEP: Motivate and Mobilize Others to Join with You In Embodying Jesus’ Mission
- Read Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:31-35, Romans 12:9-13 and I Peter 4:8-10
- What are the benefits of pursuing authentic community together with other Christians?
- What might you have to give up in order to make time for community in your life?
- With whom will you gather weekly to live in incarnational community?
- When and where could you regularly meet together?
- Invite others to join you in incarnational community – embodying Jesus’ mission.
Related Resource: Hugh Halter and Matt Smay have written an eight-week guide to incarnational community – The TK Primer. It’s a great resource to help you get started. (here’s a link to the intro and first two chapters). Read more about it here and here.
Day 29 Missional Challenge: Invite others to join you in God’s mission. Live together in incarnational community.
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