Missional moves

Good point from Chris

The communities that emerged as a result of apostolic preaching weren't very mobile, I would presume, but a good many leaders/teams were. I think the missional community model isn't flawed in that it encourages established local community, though in the Soma family we've found that we certainly need to be intentional about communicating to our local missional community families that our community WILL change, and shift, and share people, and move as needed for the mission, so that we don't get too settled and think it's all about us and our comfort.

The vast majority of local believers never joined Paul's mobile missionary team. They stayed home as salt and light in their communities.

So Paul could write to the new believers in Thessalonica

The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere (1 Thess 1:8)

Paul expected local believers to reach their communities and the surrounding regions in depth. That's why he could say to the Romans that

by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ (Rom 15:19)

In what sense had Paul fully proclaimed the gospel? He planted communities of disciples in major urban centers from along the trade routes from Palestine to Greece. Now the local believers were responsible for the spread of the gospel.

Luke tells us when he was base in Ephesus the whole region of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) heard the gospel (Acts 19:10). There's no evidence that Paul moved around Asia Minor while he was based in Ephesus. He stayed in Ephesus, a city of 200,000, preaching the gospel and training workers every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. So who reached Asia Minor? Believers such as Epaphras who planted churches in the satellite cities of Laodicea, Colossae and Hierapolis (Col 1:7-8; 4:12-13).

What's the lesson? Movements move. If it's "missional" its moving throughout the community and to the ends of the earth.

You want to join Jesus' incarnational, missional community? Hurray up it just left town.