Mission Groups are starting a new term this week. Mission groups at Missio Dei are small relational communities where the Gospel preached can be explored and applied. They are not simply bible studies; they are not simply a social club; they are not simply a prayer meeting, but are one of our primary environments to promote a godly pursuit of His Kingdom. While in the infancy stage in the life of our church, Mission groups are growing and healthy and if you haven’t participated in a group, you are missing out on what it means to be a part of our Gospel-centered, city focused, church community.
The goal of Mission Groups at Missio Dei Church is to nourish the core identities of Christianity, namely, that God in Christ regenerates His people to become family, worshipers, learners, and servant neighbors. It is one thing to talk about becoming these things and quite another to explain what we mean and how we know if we’re accomplishing these goals. Below is a quick primer on what we’re working and praying toward through Mission Groups:
Family In Christ, we become the family of God. While born to the family of Adam, we can by faith be re-born (I Pet. 1:3) and adopted (Eph. 1:5, I John 3:1) into God’s household, giving us a status of belonging and responsibility for one another. Our hope in Mission Groups is to have a small relational community of believers that does life together. We share meals together, stories together, as well as hurts and hopes together. While we experience isolation, we weren’t created for it, and the Gospel reverses this aspect of the curse, uniting us together for the sake of our joy and His glory. We measure our strength of family by the ways in which lives are shared (I Thess. 2:8). We celebrate the stories of people making decisions together, serving one another and spending time together outside of regularly scheduled group and worship gatherings.
Worshipers We often talk about being a “seeker senstive” church, but we recognize that it is not natural man that is seeking (Rom. 3:10-11), but it is the Father who is seeking true worshipers (John 4:23-24). Worship in group life is primarily expressed by our prayers and praises. When we cry out together to God in Christ, for what do we cry out? When we praise Him for answering the cries of our heart, for what do we praise Him? Our hope is that these request and praises move beyond the typical health and wealth requests, although those are not dismissed or unimportant. We’re looking to encourage hope in Christ, so we measure success by the sharing with honesty and vulnerability those things that are deeply held in our hearts as we pray together (Col. 1:9-14).
Learners Jesus made disciples and commissioned them to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). Simply put, a disciple is a learner, being taught the ways of the one with whom he is identified. God’s word is the authoritative instructor in teaching us about God and ourselves (I Tim. 3:16-17, II Pet. 3: 14-18). Therefore, we encourage time spent together reading, memorizing, meditating upon, and applying the Bible. The goal of learning the Bible is a continual re-discovery and application of the Gospel (Eph. 3:14-19) and we measure learning by Spirit-filled practice of Christ-like habits as described in Scripture.
Servant Neighbors God’s desire is for diversity of culture in the eternal Kingdom (Rev. 21:24). This happens as the church is sent out to love God and neighbor and declare the coming of His Kingdom and those outside become those inside. Missio Dei doesn’t exist for herself, but for the building up of others and the transformation of lives. We encourage one another in group to engage the culture around us and to do it together. Strength in service is measured by how many outside lives are committing to God, to His people and to His mission (Acts 2:46-47).
Mission Group leaders this term have been tasked with emphasizing one of these core identities for the term. Typically a new group will make “family” their emphasis and for those who have a sense of family, they will work toward developing a stronger sense of identity in the other areas. Our hope is that you can find a group in which to grow. We have 10 Mission Groups throughout Cincinnati neighborhoods, multiple nights of the week and you can sign up for a group HERE.