A missional community is a medium sized (25-45 people) collection of sojourners (Crosstowne folk and friends) who exist in Christian community to reach a particular neighbourhood or network of relationships.
They are lightweight, low maintenance and led by regular people with a strong value on gospel rhythms and life together. They feel like an extended family on mission. They exist to bring heaven to the particular slice of earth they believe God has given them to bless. The result is usually the growth and multiplication of more Missional Communities.
Crosstowne's core Movement values perfectly align with Crosstowne's values as a church. The very first church was not stuck... by address... or a day of the week; it was a movement of good news for every place... on every day.
The church was first called, "The Way", a movement... centered on the whole life of Jesus Christ. What makes these good news or gospel values - told across the expansive story of the Bible and fully embodied and fully God-sent in Jesus Christ - so exciting is that in them we discover a God who actually moves us; he humbles us through our honest need, he grounds us in his unmerited grace, and he sends us to embrace his movement of love everywhere.
Jesus purpose was to tear down the walls that not only divide God and humanity but the walls that divide people; walls of race, morality, religion, gender, language, politics, social class, and culture. Though God, he became a human being. Though anointed ruler of a kingdom, he invested in the poor. Though serious about eternity, he took time for dinner parties. Though holy, he was a friend of sinners. Though he had much to say, his whole life lived among people preached best.
As we follow Jesus in Milton, we will be known for building relationships with people through the rhythm of our lives. We'd rather invest time with people than run programs because the kingdom movement starts within people. Through listening, repentance, prayer, study and humble steps we will grow in our mission of making the good news tangible to the people of Milton. Our only agenda will be to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our only prejudice is to help the weak. We will live lives that demand gospel explanation.
Life can be busy, complicated and can lead to divided lives of conflicting choices. Being a Christian seems to makes matters worse; our lives are busier, more complicated, and even more divided. There is Sunday and the rest of the week, church programs and regular business, Christian friends and regular friends.
We believe that following one Lord and Savior as One Body should yield a balanced life, a whole life and an integrated life. We value this simplicity. We will fight to refine it and stop practices to keep it. The simplicity of such a plan for gospel living is an antidote to busyness, will maintain our focus, integrate the gospel into all areas of our lives, and create the very space for the relationships we seek.
Growing Up Together
Jesus primary kingdom-building method was making disciples. He modeled disciple-making by doing life with them. He taught and healed before them and then sent them to do the same. Although Jesus was a limited human-being, he did not choose the efficiency of program or class size. He discipled teachable leaders, person-to-person and involved the whole person. And he sent them to do the same.
And so we shall. God's word, the insights of believers from the past and sharing life together are our method for whole (heart, soul and mind) person and whole life discipleship. We value the developing of leaders who disciple others. Our community will be staff led and council protected. Together they will seek to raise up other leaders through identifying, releasing, and mentoring the next generation.
Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Paul especially notes how our new life in Christ involves an ongoing dying of the old self. Peter even speaks of the faith refining and world-impacting value of trial, struggle and perseverance.
As those who follow the crucified Christ, we expect and even value the reality of sacrifice. To grow with kingdom life involves dying. To grow in giving extravagantly to others, means dying to self. To grow a simple life, means dying to a divided one. To grow in discipleship, means dying to program. To grow in holiness requires dying to sin. To grow the church God expects means dying to one I expect.
Since the first Easter that followed Good Friday, all of reality is charged with the resurrection. Jesus said, "I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full." And so if Jesus is giving it, we are expecting it and embracing it.
We will be known as life embracing people. We love discovering hints of this new life through the people God places in our lives. We celebrate the community He is gathering here who struggle faithfully and rejoice gratefully. While being on mission intentionally, we will live lightly. We expect the freedom we have in Christ will make truthfulness safe, forgiveness pursued, gifts developed, laughter abundant, and creativity flourish.
Above all, we embrace our triune God who calls us on mission to live this one life together. Though the people of Milton see first our relationships to them, we seek first our 'by grace' relationship which comes from God. He is our heart's one true desire. This purposeful, whole, fruitful life flows from our staying connected to the vine. Every grace we will embrace.