Updated this for our meeting tonight… Thought I’d share the story of FCMC!
Our Story (so far). In the Spring of 2013, God pulled together about twenty people from five different churches. We had a number of things in common. Many of us had been inspired by followers of Jesus we’d met on mission trips. We earnestly desired to see Christ change lives and renew our city. We had heard that God was doing that in other places through groups called missional communities. And we were willing to try. We agreed to meet together for a season and we organized our life around worship, prayer, fellowship, and mission. This temporary micro-church was a “trial missional community”. We learned a lot about ourselves, our neighbors, and how to (and how not to) be a missional community. We also discovered strength in community, how to be more natural and public with our faith, more courageous in prayer, more adventurous in service, and how good God is.
After our season together, about half who’d been with us returned to participation in their home churches. But the experience had a deep impact: we still valued our connections to traditional local churches but we could not return to church as usual. We committed to journeying together, devoted simply to blessing our neighbors and serving in our city. As our ministry became established, the administrative load became lighter, and the leadership for the ministry was shared. Eventually, our pastor was able to become “bi-vocational”, working a traditional job while continuing to lead our church.
We began developing rhythms of doing life together around fellowship and worship, discipleship and mission. Sundays, many of us are engaged in local congregations, intent on being a blessing. Mondays, many of us serve together in a ministry called Young Lives. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, some gather to learn tools and skills for discipleship (we call these “huddles”). One Saturday a month, we all try to get together for worship. We are developing traditions, too: food drives, retreats, mission trips, a Good Friday sunrise worship gathering. And then there are the “organic activities”: neighborhood parties, prayer walks, going to movies and sports events, helping one another move or do a home improvement project, and meals, desserts, snacks, and coffee.
In short, it has become a lot like following Jesus with an extended family, supportive, but very intentional. And our missional community families are open to new people who want to do life together and follow Jesus, and we’re seeing new faces.
We are a small group but growing group. And we are keenly aware of being redeemed, forgiven, blessed, and healed through the love, grace and mercy of God! And with joy we can report that what God has been doing for us we are seeing God do through us to bless neighbors, co-workers, and friends!