Healthy communities share the load of being a community. Here are six important servant-leadership roles that ought to be filled by different people. There are many others, but these are the important ones to get started. Missional communities do not have “senior pastors,” they have leadership teams.
1. Meal Coordinator
You will want to delegate someone who likes to communicate clearly what the plan is for the upcoming week with the food and any other things coming up. Have this person communicate in whatever way is best for everyone (text, email, Facebook), about what to bring for the next meal, parties, service opportunities, etc. This leader needs to enjoy communicating in a friendly way, organizing, and delegating.
2. Prayer Leader
This leader is responsible for calling the community to prayer, they lead prayer times, and are the spokespeople for turning the missional communities attention to asking God and listening to God. This person will organize and facilitate times of prayer. They will also share prayer requests. They are the leaders who are intentionally thinking through prayer in the life of the community.
Who can host the weekly meals? Who is blessed by having people in their homes and will think through creating a space that is conducive to sharing an intentional meal and discussion each week? The host ought to be a welcoming person who views their home as an outpost of the kingdom and space to share in gospel conversation.
Being the host doesn’t mean they clean up by themselves. From the very first meeting, invite everyone to pitch in with cleaning up after the kids, washing dishes, taking out the trash, and putting the home back the way it was when everyone arrived. Everyone participates in family chores! If your community treats the host family like a restaurant or catering service, you aren’t cultivating community.
4. Discussion Leader/Facilitator
Not all the leaders have to be skilled teachers or counselors. However, for the group to explore faith and obedience together, you will need a leader who can guide and lead discussions around the gospel, community, and mission. This guide will help the discussion leader the most. This leader enjoys teaching and explaining new truths as much as helping others engage those truths. They will be good teachers and good listeners, too. Their job isn’t to preach, but to help others grow in their understanding of the gospel.
5. Missional Leader
The shared mission of your missional community will be specific, relational, and regular. Meaning you will know who the people are, you will be able to get to know them, and you will serve and be around them often. The missional leader is the champion for the mission. This person is regularly reminding the group about the mission and why the group shares the mission. This leader’s role is connecting the group to the mission and letting people know the next steps and opportunities.
6. Children’s Coordinator
If your missional community has young kids, you will want to have this leadership role. Who can organize the group to care for kiddos during the weekly discussions? This is usually as simple as someone making a calendar and having everyone sign-up. One simple method for structuring the kid’s time is to have the adult leaders:
- Teach the kids how to do something the leader is really good at (like play music, soccer, paint, cook, jump rope, etc.). It could be anything.
- Share with the kids an important part of their story in learning who Jesus is and what he has done for them.
- Share their favorite Bible verse and explain what it means and how it has affected their lives.
This is an excerpt from Called Together: A Guide to Forming Missional Communities by Jonathan K. Dodson and Brad Watson. You can purchase this book in paperback or Kindle here.