We often say that a missional community is just a vehicle that helps us learn to live a lifestyle of family on mission. If that’s true then we should expect that a missional community will need a bit more structure and definition than you would want to place on the lifestyle which is the destination. So while there are any number of ways to live as a family of disciples united with God on mission in your life, we want to define the vehicle of missional community so that it’s both recognizable to newcomers and easy to replicate in a variety of contexts.
If you are going to have people in your home every week to eat a meal and share life with you, there are some tips we’ve learned along the way that make this a joy and not a burden! Lots of factors conspire against you to make it too hard and have you wishing you could back out, but with some intentional changes to your normal hosting habits, it is possible to look forward to it!
Missional Communities have been an effective vehicle for mission for our church and many churches like ours who desire to grow in friendships, grow in their relationship with God but also grow in living on mission. In other words, they combine the “up, in and out” relationships of our lives together in one extended family on mission.
For the last few years, dozens of people have gathered in our home every Monday night for dinner. Most weeks we eat well, like really well, with minimal planning and without a lot of extra time or effort. At this point, it almost feels easy and this gathering carries on in our home even when we’re out-of-town. Of course, it didn’t start this way from the beginning and we want to share some of the lessons we learned (many the hard way) over the last few years.
One of the assumptions that people make when we tell them about our Monday night meals, is that we must live in a big fancy house. The truth is that our house is not small but it is far from fancy and the main things that make our home work well for hosting a missional community are intentional choices that nearly everyone could make (though perhaps not all at the same scale).
In this post I want to focus on just a few choices we made about the actual physical space in our home that makes it easier to host a few dozen people on a regular basis without a lot of extra effort.