What is a Missional Community?

Very good, short definition of missional disciples and communities on the Desiring God blog, here. Quite similar to some of the stuff I have been writing about recently, but very well expressed and worth a look.

The question that springs instantly to mind is, aren't all churches missional communities? Isn't the phrase "missional community" an exact synonym for "local church"? And the answer is: no, they should be, but often they aren't. There are plenty of "churches" that define themselves according to non-biblical activities, principles and definitions. And to the degree that they aren't, they aren't being truly biblical.

Let's be clear, a biblical church will be a community of disciple-making disciples. No passengers, no consumers, nobody who isn't in some way connected into this core vision. That doesn't mean that everyone has to be an evangelist or a gifted discipler, but everyone has to be a committed witness and deeply concerned that the body as a whole impacts the surrounding area (and the world) with the gospel of the greatness of the glory of God's grace in Jesus Christ. 

The "church" that has become an inward looking club cannot truthfully describe itself as a biblical church. The "church" that has a significant proportion of its decision-making members who don't own a vision for being a missional community cannot. A church whose activities are not evaluated and measured alongside this vision probably isn't. In fact a lot of our churches, by this foundational biblical criterion are some way from being biblical churches. They need to reform, re-evaluate, and reshape themselves around disciple-making priorities.