It’s a scriptural model of community and discipleship:
In Romans 16, Paul rolls through a list of people that are “doing church” and having positive effects with it.
- Verse 5, “Also give my greeting to the church that meets in their home.”
- Verse 10, “Greet Apelles, a good man whom Christ approves. And give my greetings to the believers from the household of Aristobulus.”
- Verse 11, “Greet the Lord’s people from the household of Narcissus.”
- Verse 14, “Give my greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who meet with them (household suggested).”
- Verse 15, “Give my greetings to Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and to Olympas and all the believers who meet with them (likely in a household context).”
Paul doesn’t write to these people to congratulate them on their 2.3% conversion rate, or their 15% growth rate, or for the 4% of their younger generation (stats from last post Why Missional Communities? Part Uno) that are coming to their homes. Those are no reasons to write words of greetings and joy. He writes with joy and passion for them because they are experiencing great growth, both spiritually and numerically, as disciples are being produced. And disciples are being produced because they are involved in each others lives, in community, and in a relational context!
This is the missional community way of ministry. Missional Communities harbor an environment where relationships thrive. And from the relationships discipleship happens naturally.
In a student ministry context, students are at the age where community and belonging are a crucial part of their growth and development. If we can bring them in community with their own peers, as well as leaders that will pour into them and invest in them, discipleship cannot help but flow from that and God’s Spirit will move in a way that will cause much rejoicing.