How to Multiply Student Missional Communities

We have multiplied our first student missionalmultiplying mcs real community!  Throughout the multiplication process, there has been fresh vision and clarity on what it looks like to multiply missional communities.  We simply want to share this process with all of you.

I would say that there are 4 practicals steps that were brought to light for us when it came to multiplying out our first GoCo – Passion. Prayer. People. Pursuit.  Let’s break these down:

Passion – we all have specific passions and gifts that God has given us.  I fully believe that God has given us these passions and gifts for a specific purpose – to use them to impact those around us and bring honor to God.  Because of this, we feel called as leaders to help students and other leaders realize these passions and gifts.  We do this in a manner that challenges and encourages them to put feet on their passions and gifts so they can use them to impact the Kingdom.

Prayer – part of the challenge and encouragement after their passions and gifts are realized is to allow space for them in prayer to wait for what God is calling them to do with their passions and gifts.  This is essential.  As a leader, the natural tendency is to come up with the structures and ideas that people can fit their dreams into.  At the end of the day, that really doesn’t have anything to do with God.  But when you allow them to come before God and seek God’s vision then it’s putting them in a position where they are dependent on God to lead them.  This will hopefully set the pace for how they will live out and form community around their passions and gifts.  There will definitely be moments where your experience will be necessary to simply provide some guidance and direction, but let those you are releasing wrestle and discern what God is saying to them.

People – the thing that the process of prayer does is that it brings certain people to mind.  As they are praying through what it is that God is calling them to, there are always people in their lives that come to mind.  For example, as Wyatt and Paul were praying about what Song & Story (this was before they had the name) looked like, there were specific friends of theirs that had similar interests and passions as them, but didn’t have a relationship with Christ that kept coming to mind.  More than likely, the people that come up in prayer are the people that God is calling you to.  These specific people help to establish the Mission/Vision of what your missional community will be.

Pursuit – part of the pursuit includes the tangibles of the missional community: meeting location, times, days, rhythm, gathering structures, etc.  The other part, the main part, the purpose of the missional community, is the pursuit of people.  Pursue the people that God has placed on your heart.  Pursue the people that have similar passions and gifts and include them in the community.  What this looks like for Wyatt and Paul is to go to various open mic nights around the area, to go to local concerts, and intentionally ask people they encounter to come hang at Song & Story.  You must GO and pursue people.  If the missional community is about having another missional community notch on your belt, then you’ve completely missed the mission.

If you have any other suggestions or things that you do when starting missional communities we would love to hear about it!  We will be doing a series of posts in the upcoming weeks that will break down Passion. Prayer. People. Pursuit.

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Behind the Music: Song & Story

Our first multiplied student GoCommunity (Missional Community)photo-1 is called Song & Story.  It is driven by the vision that God placed on two student’s hearts.  Wyatt Zelle and Paul Clifford are both going to be seniors this upcoming school year.  They have each been a part of a GoCo and our ministry for years now.  I am not exaggerating when I say it has been a true honor and blessing to be a part of their lives as I have watched how God has worked both in and through them over the years.

About Wyatt and Paul:

One of the best things about watching them mature over the years has been seeing how they have used their passions and gifts that God has given them to bring Honor to Him.  They are both very talented musicians and that talent can be seen on display with their band, Good Hours.  This isn’t just your normal, local high school rock band.  Good Hours won Canton’s local Battle of the Bands competition, as well as the Alive Festival’s Indie Artist Showcase contest.  In a nutshell, these guys are legitimate!  Despite their band’sphoto recent success and the local celebrity status they are gaining, they consistently remain humble.  This heart of humility they carry definitely stems from their desire to use their influence with the band as a way to point people towards Christ.  The fact that these two high school students view their band and their talents as their mission is inspiring to me!  I love how God is using these guys and how they are letting God use them.

The Backstory:

This last winter I sat down with Wyatt and Paul and we began talking about passions.  As we talked about passions, without pausing, the conversation went right into God, music, and friends.  The conversation eventually got to the point where we were talking about what it looks like to intentionally blend all of those passions together.  We talked and brainstormed a little while longer before I asked them to sit on this for and pray about it – to see what God might reveal to them.

After a few weeks of prayer and more conversation, God began to reveal the vision for what would later be called Song & Story.  The vision, ultimately, was to create an intentional community where musicians, artists, and poets can come together to share their artistic creations, while receiving encouragement and prayer if needed.  The foundational idea was laid and it was great to see these guys rely on the Spirit to direct them in this.

From there we began to ask the Spirit to give them more clear direction for details such as: the name and mission/vision. who would this community be for? what would the rhythm of gathering look like? what would the evening structure look like? where they were going to meet? which other students were they going to actively pursue?  And so on and so forth.  Another prayer of ours was for God to bring a couple adults that understand this creative/artistic culture to come alongside Wyatt and Paul to invest in them and help provide some more structure to this.

As God began to flush all of this out for us and provide the things we needed it became more and more clear that the idea of Song & Story was exactly what God had for Wyatt and Paul.

Getting the ball rolling:

Now that they felt like they had clear vision for Song & Story, plus a couple adults to come alongside them, they were ready to move forward with this and make this happen.

Some of the practicals of making this happen was to set a date, time, and location for a soft launch.  On top of that it was important for them to pursue the other students that God had placed on their hearts that they thought would be good to be a part of this.  The final step was to spread the word – social media, texts, calls, posters at local coffee shops, etc.  These guys made it happen, with the Spirit leading them.  They had their soft launch last month and this week is their first official launch where the students that come will be sharing their works of art.

I am so excited to see what God is going to do through these guys and the lives that will be changed, due in part, of Wyatt and Paul’s faithfulness and boldness to listen to what God was saying to them and then to follow through on it.  These guys are disciples that make disciples.

Song & Story

Tagline – Everyone’s Song has a Story.  Everyone’s Story has a Song

Mission/Vision – “Song & Story is a community where students can share their creative passions and be encouraged in their artistic growth.”

Rhythm – Formal gatherings once a month.  Their rhythm also includes going to local coffee shops and venues to play open mic nights as a community.

Nightly Structure – Students will gather at Wyatt’s house where they will start by hanging out and watch some live music videos that will be playing in the background.  Typically, they will share a meal together.  After the meal they will gather in the basement or outside (depending on the weather) where they will sit in a circle and begin sharing their artistic creations with each other.  If the students want to they will start by sharing the story of where their work of art comes from and then perform it for everyone in the community.

Our next post will include the practical steps that God has revealed to us through this process for multiplying GoCommunities, which will be followed by a series of posts detailing each of those steps.  We would love feedback, thoughts, ideas, and questions!  If you have any more questions about Song & Story feel free to contact myself or John Moores – we realize we gave the nutshell version of the story.  In the meantime, we ask that you continue to pray for Wyatt, Paul and everyone that will be a part of the Song & Story community.