The Biggest Mistake I made launching Missional Communities

It’s been about 7-years since Kaleo Church transitioned to a ‘missional-community’ led model. Back in 2007 I began going public with this transition, posting blog posts such as: (Side Note: I’ve recently moved on from Kaleo when my family moved to Coronado)

  • The Decline of the Western Church and the Call to renew your Church’s Ecclesiology
  • The Church as Movement – Organizing Decentralization
  • Triperspectival Ecclesiology – Being the Church as Corporate, Intimate & Group
  • Such noble sounding posts! A lot of the thoughts and diagrams were summarized in this document (including some great diagrams like the one below): Building a Church Movement of Gospel Centered Communities
    Missional Community Movements
    While I still stand by much of the thinking at the time, I’d commend people who are thinking of making this transition to avoid one of the biggest mistakes I believe I made (and I made many) in this transition: Why is way more important than what/how.
    Recently I was reminded of this when a local church leader asked me to come and present to a small group of people who were excited about creating missional communities and living that way. As part of that exercise I asked each person to write down ‘why’ they wanted to be a part of missional communities. Here’s a few of their answers:

    I feel that I need to make a positive change in my life and to become a missionary would help me invest time and energy into something positive.

    It’s very hard for me to see people going down morally, spiritually and even physically. When you know the truth and the revelation of what God has done and can do, it becomes your reason to live.

    Obedience = Rewards. To be a Godly example to my children and impact future generations to be followers. To save the lost.

    I believe Jesus commissioned us to reach out to the lost. No, I really believe it.


    Because I know how empty and purposeless life is without the Lord. Because that is what Jesus intended for us > to tell others and spread God’s glory.

    In the times when we have lived in community I have felt most fulfilled and close to God.

    In obedience to my savior, Jesus. To show others the love he has shown me.

    What is your reason for doing missional community? I think one of the biggest mistakes I made was overlooking the great variety of reasons why people agreed (or resisted) to living life in Missional Community. This causes problems. Looking at the above answers, some of them I believe the motivation isn’t deep enough. It isn’t tapped into the Father God who made us and loves/transforms us so we ‘get to’ invite others into relationship with him. (Part of the solution I felt lines up in the post I did called: The 5-Dysfunctions of Missional Community) Take the time to answer these why’s. I believe in the long run, it’s going to be critical to your ability to be effective missionaries.
    As we continue to live this way in our new home, this reason of ‘why’ is a big part of the onboarding/discipleship process when Christians want to join in what we are doing.