At Florida Baptist Church, we seek to live out what happens in our worship on Sunday morning. This means that we are committed to building a strong and vibrant culture that flows out of our experience of the life of God. That life is the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is not an impersonal force, but a community of persons (The Trinity) who have loved each other for all eternity.
Since we are made in the image of God, part of what it means to be human is to be created in as well as for community. Simply put, you cannot be truly human or truly yourself apart from loving relationships with other people. For this reason, we will be organizing our communities into geographically focused groups of families and individuals. Each of our missional communities seeks to be a place where people can experience significant, substantial, encouraging friendships. While each community is different, having its own personality, five practices will form a common thread.
1. We read the Bible together.
Jesus said, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Matthew 7: 24).
2. We pray together.
We believe God acts differently when we pray than when we don’t pray. When we pray together, not only does God hear and answer our prayers, but our relationships with one another are solidified, and we can begin to care deeply about one another.
3. We share together.
The first act Jesus performed with his disciples after the resurrection was to share a meal. Eating and drinking together, celebrating the joy of the resurrection life, is a huge piece of our life together as the people of God who share in the life of God. Even more, talking about what is happening in our lives, both formally and informally, is a significant way in which we are known and have the opportunity to know others more deeply.
4. We serve one another.
The extravagant generosity of Jesus Christ toward us compels us to be generous in our service to one another. Missional communities will serve as the front lines of care for our church. A phone call and prayer, a pot of soup, an afternoon cleaning someone's house, watching their kids, running errands – these are practical ways we live out our Christian faith.
5. We reach out to our neighbors together.
If our Christian faith does not translate into blessing for our neighbors and city then something is terribly wrong. We encourage our small groups to think like missionaries. Since each group is rooted in its own particular neighborhood, this will take many different forms: direct or personal evangelism, neighborhood parties, caring for those who are weak or vulnerable, and strategic partnerships with community organizations that are working to improve our community and serve “the least of these.”