Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Missional Communities: 7 Frequently Asked Questions – Question 1

In the lead up to this years exponential conference for church planters in Orlando, where Verge and Exponential combine forces, they have asked some of us who are speaking to answer seven questions in regard to missional communities. The first of these seven is simply: What is a Missional Community?

I have given my answer to that question here. If you want to see some other great responses to the question from Alan Hirsch, Neil Cole, Mike Breen, Felicity Dale, Hugh Halter and others, you can find them here.

I will be leading a track on missional communties [mid-sized groups] at this years Ecclesia National Gathering as well.  I hope you can join me for one or more of these events.

5 Responses to Missional Communities: 7 Frequently Asked Questions – Question 1

  1. Happy New Year JR!

    I am planning on making the Ecclesia conference in MD. Look forward to seeing you.


  2. JR Woodward says:


    Awesome! I look forward to seeing you there. It’s been too long! I’m hoping to visit NYC sometime soon. I will let you know.

  3. bobby says:

    Love the article JR.
    Only had one question though.

    Is there a need to define a number (20-50) for the missional community? By the rest of the definition, is there any reason a smaller group, say 10 or even less would not be considered a ‘missional community?’

  4. JR Woodward says:


    Hey bro. You ask a good question. I do think that defining a number is important, in that the mid-sized group meets a sociological function that small groups cannot meet. For a more thorough look at this, my friend Ben Sternke a church planter in Ft. Wayne has done an 11 part series on mid-sized communities. Check it out and let me know what you think. Here is the link to his series: http://bit.ly/eNUfz8

  5. bobby says:

    I enjoyed the posts about mid-sized communities. Nothing I could really disagree with there. I think the special function of mid-sized communities makes sense. I think my disconnect was just the terminology.

    It was interesting to me to see that Wikipedia defines Missional Community as a mid-sized gathering. While I know several churches who call these mid-sized groups “missional communites”, I guess I’ve thought in the past of the term being one that can be used in that way, but not necessarily limited to that. Maybe like a square is a rhombus but a rhombus isn’t necessarily a square? I was thinking in terms of a community that is missional and defining those 2 terms, which would beg the question of how many people do you need to be a “community?”

    So I guess it is what it is now, but I wonder if we do a bit of a dis-service by defining a missional community as a mid-sized group rather than seeing a missional community as something defined by it’s actions and heart that can come in multiple sizes and allowing that to be a qualifier that determines it’s purpose and function more specifically, if that makes sense.

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