Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Launching Missional Communities by Mike Breen and Alex Absalom – A Review (Part I of 2)

I was honored to have received this book from Mike Breen and 3dm ministries for review, because I appreciate their ministry.  In Part I of my review, I will give an overview of the book.  And in the second part of my review, which I will post tomorrow, I will give you my thoughts on the book.  As you can see the book came with some cool wrapping, and the contents of the book are rich as well.

In Launching Missional Communities: A Field Guide, Mike Breen and Alex Absalom make the case that missional communities and huddles are ideal for the church that wants to put “discipleship and mission at the center of everything they do” (19). In this book on missional communities they give theological, sociological and practical help for those who desire to launch these mid-sized communities in their neighborhood or among a particular people group.

There are five basic parts to the book. In Part I, we meet the experienced guides Mike Breen and Alex Absalom, learn a little history about missional communities, as well as gain a definition and some instructions on the best way to use this field guide.

In Part II, Breen and Absalom give theological, practical and sociological reasons why missional communities work, sharing what they have learned over the last 20 years. They give a definition of key terms like misisonal, community and social spaces.  They talk about attractional vs. missional and then dive into what missional community leadership and discipleship looks like, with various case studies highlighted.

Part III describes the practical steps on how to launch missional communities. The instructions are designed to meet the need for those just starting out, but also benefit those who have some experience. They give nine steps in their launch guide:

1. Before you begin
2. Preparation
3. Recruiting for your pilot MC (Missional Community)
4. Setting outcomes for your pilot MC
5. Running your pilot MC
6. Effective communication preparation for launch Sunday
7. Preparing the wider church for launch Sunday
8. Running a launch Sunday
9. Growing your MC

The also include a short addendum for those who want to church plant with MCs.

In Part IV they move to MC life, looking at how to lead MC leaders as well as looking at the three basic dimensions of MC – the UP, the IN and the OUT. In this section they seek to answer these questions at it relates to missional communities: “What do you do now that you’re on the front lines? How do they grow? How do you disciple and teach people? Kids? How do you develop leaders?” (123). They give the nuts-and-bolts to missional communities as well as continue to provide various case studies from real life.

In Part V, the final section of the book, they conclude with four more detailed case studies of how this missional strategy using missional communities works out in real life. They feature Norman Community Church in Norman, Oklahoma; Eikon Community Church in Richmond, VA; Threshold Church from Toledo, OH; and St. Philip’s Church from Pittsburgh, PA. They include a helpful appendix as well. Having shared the overview of this book, tomorrow I will give you my thoughts on Launching Missional Communities.

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