Establishing a simple church/missional community is the exciting initial step. However, it is important that the missional community is healthy, flourishing, growing deeper, and making more disciples.
If it is not healthy It can degenerate into a happy little club meeting in a home that is no more effective than a larger established church meeting in a church building. Jesus said “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself, the soil produces corn, first the stalk, then the ear, then the full kernel in the ear. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts in the sickle to it, because the harvest has come." Mark 4:26-29 (NIV).
If the DNA is correct, then there is natural growth, just as a plant given the correct ingredients of good soil, nutrients, water, and sunshine, and is protected from pests/predators will grow and reproduce – “all by itself”.
For many years my attention has been drawn to the description of the early church community found in Acts 2:32-47. I recently saw this represented diagrammatically with a simple drawing which was helpful. The main summary of the key characteristics of this early church are found in verses 42-46. However, the preceding context is Peter’s preaching to the crowd, amazed by the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, hearing the gospel about Jesus proclaimed in their own language or tongues and being convicted by the call to repent and be baptized. This gives a fuller picture to this early gathering of disciples (the church).
Church Health Circles
Some call this a church health circle and I have found it very useful as a diagnostic tool in looking at a church community.
A church community is a covenanted community where followers of Jesus commit to each other as part of the body of Christ.