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ABOUT SFM

This website is dedicated to the pursuit of more than just church. It is a relentless, honest, all-out, no-holds-barred pursuit of true life in Christ through missional communities who are dedicated to making disciples.

This isn't for everybody. Most of you are just fine and your life in Christ is just fine. Thanks for coming, but this site is not for you. On the other hand, if you are searching, longing, aching for more than just an experience of church and a mediocre participation in something the world calls "christianity", then we may want to meet.

We aren't perfect. Far from it. But we'd love the opportunity to share with your our vision of what we hope for the people of God in this world. Since this isn't about trying to attract people to gatherings, events, Bible studies, or spiritual experiences, don't expect to be invited to anything like that. Instead, our invitation is into a community of people dedicated to living on mission with Jesus and making disciples who do the same.

OUR PEOPLE

OUR GOAL

OUR LIFESTYLE

OUR STRATEGY

OUR IDENTITY

OUR LOCATION

JESUS

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life."

This is all about him. He's all about you.

COMMUNITY

A community is a group of interacting disciples, who share interpersonal relationships, a sense of belonging, and an orientation of life to a common goal and a common witness.

Someone once said, "It is easier to draw a crowd than to grow a family."

 

Community is what we're after--not crowds.

 

Community is necessary in the body of Christ. Jesus had a community of disciples that was only 12 strong. But even inside that small community, he had a micro-community of three disciples: Peter, James, & John. He spent a lot of time building community with those three guys.

 

We have a responsibility to live in community with other disciples in order to fulfill God's purposes for His people.

 

 "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

 

All throughout the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament, we see him constantly referring to the need for his disciples to work, live, and play together. The Apostle Paul referred to the church as a "family" and a "body"--things that require interdependence for success. If the church is going to succeed in the mission of making disciples, we must work together in community.

 

Community is not the same as church attendance, small groups, or friends. It is much deeper and more significant than that.

 

The focus of community cannot be on a gathering, but on the community itself.

 

Of course, this is not to say that our overall focus in not on Jesus. That is understood. The issue is that for any community to be fostered, developed, and enjoyed, it must interact regularly around the mission of Jesus.

JEAN VANIER

"The difference between community and a group of friends is that in a community we verbalize our mutual belonging and bonding. We announce the goals and the spirit that unites us. We recognize that we are responsible for one another. We recognize also that this bonding comes from God; it is a gift from God. It is he who has chosen us and called us together in a covenant of love and mutual caring."

Jean Vanier is a Canadian philosopher, theologian, and humanitarian. Beginning with a community in France, he is the founder of L'Arche and author of many books, including "Community & Growth".

DISCIPLESHIP

A disciple is a student and a learner of the teachings of Jesus.

Discipleship is the process of helping a person move from being a fan of Jesus, to a disciple, to a disciple-maker.

WHAT IS A DISCIPLE?

WHAT IS DISCIPLESHIP?

The term "disciple" isn't used much in our culture today. And when it is, it usually is weird. We get that. But there isn't anything weird about being a disciple. Just think of it as being a student or an apprentice.

People who follow the teachings of Jesus and try to emulate his ways are considered disciples.

Discipleship is the process of a person moving from being a fan of Jesus to a disciple to a disciple-maker.

The New Testament records that many people believed in Jesus and admired him--even worshiped him. But not many were considered disciples.

ARE YOU A DISCIPLE?

WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN DISCIPLESHIP?

It was clear in the New Testament who the real disciples were. They knew who Jesus was. They knew what Jesus taught. They knew why and how to follow the teachings of Jesus. They had other disciples who were involved in discipling them. They desired to enter into discipling relationships with other disciples so they both could follow Jesus better.

True discipleship requires commitment. There are four things required: (1) Time (2) Access (3) Demonstration (4) Deployment.

People who want to disciple others must offer their time, access to their lives, and demonstrate a disciple life. Then they must deploy their disciples to reproduce themselves in their communities.

Read more about discipling here.

PROCESS

FAN

EXPERIENCE

TEACH

"Jesus said what?"

 

As you learn what he really taught and how he lived his life, you see that there is much to gain from being one of his disciples. You begin looking for ways to follow his teachings.

"Jesus lives

through me."

 

Now that you've experienced the life of Jesus through those around you, you begin to act out the life of Jesus in your own life.

"Jesus spreads through us in the world."

 

Your disciples are ready to go lead others through the process. Disciples making disciples.

(Read more about this here.)

LEARNING

ACTION

REPRODUCE

"Jesus is pretty cool."

 

You know who Jesus is. You're a fan. You might even attend church services and/or Bible studies. You're good being a fan for now, but you may want to dive a bit deeper into knowing him.

"Jesus is worth following."

 

You watch and observe other disciples who love Jesus and follow him. Their everyday lives are different. They have something you want to have too.

"Jesus is our Teacher."

 

As your life grows as a disciple, you come across others who want to move from fan to follower. You teach them by offering your time, access to your life, and demonstrating what it looks like to follow Jesus.

 

"THOSE WHO AREN'T FOLLOWING JESUS AREN'T HIS FOLLOWERS. IT'S THAT SIMPLE. FOLLOWERS FOLLOW, AND THOSE WHO DON'T FOLLOW AREN'T FOLLOWERS."

SCOT MCKNIGHT  /  DISCIPLE OF JESUS

MISSION

Our mission is first and foremost to make disciples. That's what Jesus said we were to do before he ascended to Father after his resurrection.

WHAT IS MISSION?

 

A mission is a specific task or duty assigned to a person or group of people.

WHAT IS MISSIONAL?

 

Missional means to live your life paying attention to the opportunities that come up each day where you can make a positive change in another person's life. Missional living is about being the hands and feet of Jesus to those around you.

If you want to live missionally, you will seek out and develop meaningful, authentic relationships with people God brings into your life.

We do this by demonstrating the love of Jesus and telling people about the Gospel when given the opportunity.

QUICK TIPS FOR MISSIONAL LIVING?

 

Missional living is part of an every day normal life--not just a mission trip. Click here to read 4 Steps for Missional Living.

 

PRAY

Start by praying for Father to show you opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus  to others through service, finances, time, and talents.

LOOK

Next, start looking for ways to bless people in simple ways. Maybe you can smile, hold a door open, or offer to help someone pick something up. The ways to help are numerous.

SENSE

The Holy Spirit lives in every single true disciple of Jesus. The Spirit's purpose is to guide you. Listen to Him. You will sense ways to help where your eyes cannot see.

ACT

Just do it. Help people. Love them. Serve them. Listen to them. Make them feel wanted, loved, and special.

WE WERE DESIGNED TO BE ON MISSION WITH JESUS

CONTACT US NOW

OUR STRATEGY

A strategy is simply a plan of action or a method designed to achieve an overall mission.

We call ours 34M.

3

THREE

Three families form a micro-community to share their lives. They gather as a group at least once a week for  discipleship, prayer, service, and worship. Throughout the week--between group gatherings--this micro-community shares life by calling, texting, and emailing each other. They check in on social media, too, to keep tabs on how one another are doing day-in and day-out. They get together for coffee, attend each others' kids' sporting and school events, do volunteer work together, etc. This is the very essence of missional community.

4

FOUR

The goal of each micro-community is to seek out a fourth family who is interested in becoming disciples or deepening their experience as disciples of Jesus. In the midst of the daily lives of each micro-community, they encourage one another to be on the lookout for people who are searching for more. Once they are identified, an invitation to join the micro-community is extended. This is the entry point for new disciples to enter the larger missional community.

34M

DO IT AGAIN

Now that there are two small micro-communites that started as one, they will once again be on the lookout for others who want to grow in their discipleship and experience of following Jesus. In this manner, the overall community will grow and expand its influence over the different areas and regions in which the micro-communities live, work, and play. The point here is for disciples to make disciples who make disciples. Etc. Etc. Etc. This is the model of church growth we subscribe to. It isn't about inviting people to gatherings or church services. Rather, it is about inviting people to share life together around the person of Jesus.

+

M

MOVE & MULTIPLY

Once the fourth family joins the micor-community and has assimilated into this shared life together on a permanent basis, the time has come for the micro-community to move and multiply. Life in missional communities is not perpetuated by continuing to draw more and more people into a single community or a single weekly gathering. Life is perpetuated as we extend our reach into our individual spheres of influence throughout the areas in which we live, work, and play. This is why the micro-community will prayerfully decide how to best multiply into two new separate micro-communities, moving to different weekly gathering schedules, beginning the 34M process over again.

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NOTE: We are reasonable people; therefore, we understand that this strategy is a loose guideline for missional communities. The point here is that the micro-community be small in order to be effective at its mission. Whether that works out as growing from 3-to-4 families or from 4-to-5 families doesn't really matter. However, we are dedicated to our goal of keeping the micro-communities small, usually no more than 10 adults.

3 QUESTIONS WE ASK AT EVERY GATHERING

outward life

What did I do this week to connect the world with the reality of Jesus and his church?

inward life

What did I do this week to deepen my personal connection to Jesus and his church?

communal life

What did I do this week to cultivate trust, faith, growth, and authenticity in my micro-community?

LEADERSHIP WITHIN THE COMMUNITY

LEADERSHIP Each group has one family/person who functions as the leader of that micro-community. The leaders  of  each micro-community meet together once per month to pray and discuss the health, concerns, and joys of each micro-community. The purpose of these meetings is to lead towards healthy intentional spiritual growth and discipleship and mission for the overall community.

COMMUNITY  As a community of communities, all micro-communities gather together once each month at a predetermined location for worship, communion, prayer, and a teaching. In addition to these monthly gatherings as a community, we pool our  financial and physical resources in order to provide service to the needs we discover within our community.

NOTE  We realize that this strategy for missional communities may not be for everyone. This is not a model that is intended to be accepted and adopted by the whole Church. Rather, this is a model that has been given to us from Father for our context and within our particular community. While we believe that this model is biblical and is based in proper understandings of the form and function of the Church we read about in the pages of the New Testament, it must be understood that this strategy may not be appropriate or helpful for every disciple in every location and may even be limited to a specific time period. So, with that in mind, we invite you to ask questions, seek counsel, and pray about how you should be or shouldn't be using this strategy or getting involved in the strategy where you live.

SFM BLOG

Our blog provides fresh, raw, and sometimes unfiltered thoughts and insights into what Father is showing us about discipleship, mission, community and other various topics. CLICK HERE to be redirected to the blog. We've posted some of the more popular posts here for you to read within this site.

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Many christians misunderstand what true worship is. They tend to think of it in terms of singing spiritual songs with the church on Sundays. Explore true worship...

Is faith something we operate in blindness? Does science have any place in faith? Should we use reason as we try to figure out what we believe? Explore authentic faith...

Christianity--as defined by the world--is the largest religion in the universe. Did Jesus start christianity? Do we have any obligations to be called "christians?"

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Church isn't a place you go, an event you attend, or a set of spiritual activities that you participate in. Church is more than this--it is the people. Learn more here...

The Bible is the number one selling book of all time. It is the book used by every christian denomination to justify their beliefs. So how are we to view it? Hmmmm...

In order for us to truly find truth in life, we must first understand what/who holds authority. Unfortunately, many misplace their trust, and mayhem ensues...

COMMUNITAS

The word "communitas" is a Latin noun commonly referring to either an unstructured community in which people are equal, or to the very spirit of community. This is who we seek to be.

 We use the name COMMUNITAS to refer to ourselves. Not as a way to build a brand, wave a flag of fellowship, or use as a test to decide "who's in and who's out", but rather in order to give people context about who we are.

 

We operate within limited structure. Our structure is there only to help keep us on track as we follow the Spirit as a community. In the New Testament, Paul told the Ephesians that Jesus gave the gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher to train His disciples in skilled servant work. The goal of the operation of these gifts is to work within the church so that we can all move rhythmically and easily with each other so that unity is a natural byproduct. Jesus desires our efficient and graceful response to him as fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ himself. This teaching forms the limits of our structure and illuminates our spirit of community.

 

COMMUNITAS stems from a vision given to Jason Duncan in January of 2014. The reality of this community is still yet to be seen as he and his family pray and wait on Father's leading to help birth this community in Gallatin, Tennessee.  Daily they pray for Father to guide them and lead them in a way that will allow this new community to be birthed and to be a benefit to the community in which the Duncans live. While they wait, they encourage people to read their blog and explore this website to learn more about the dreams and visions Father has given to them about discipleship, community, and missional living. Until the day comes when Father releases them to help birth this new congregation, they want to provide resources online to others who are seeking the same. If you want more information directly from us or want to connect personally with us, please fill out the contact form below, send us an email, or follow us on Facebook.

WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT? WHAT IS YOUR GOAL WITH THIS WEBSITE?

JESUS

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life."

We don't refer to ourselves with the word "church" for a reason. On one hand, there is so much more to that word than most people can even begin to comprehend. On the other hand, that word carries with it so much baggage that many would–be disciples of Jesus never investigate who he really is due to their misconceptions and bad experiences with church.

 

While we recognize that we are all part of Jesus' church, we plan to simply refer to ourselves as a local congregation known as Communitas. Practically, we function as  a "community of communities". As you read about on our community page above, we intend to form ourselves into micro-communities of 2 to 3 families who gather regularly, disciple one another, and live on mission together. Once a month, our plan is for all micro-communities to gather together as one large community.

 

The goal of this website is to provide people who desire to become better disciples of Jesus a place to learn about what that means. We are not the only site on the web that provides these resources. We list some resources below where you can read more. If you want more information directly from us or want to connect personally, please fill out the contact form below. Feel free to follow us on Facebook too.

This is all about him. He's all about you.

WHY DO YOU GUYS DO THIS?

Our goal is to follow Jesus and be on mission with him daily, making disciples, and building community among his disciples.

 

It is Jesus' job to build the church--not ours. We leave that to him. But inasmuch as we are able to help build community among disciples in certain locations, we're here to do what Father asks.

 

Even though our vision for Communitas as a congregation--as a community of communities--does not yet exist, we are trying to be faithful to what he is doing in and through us. We are patiently waiting for Him to release us to follow His lead into this new adventure. Until then, we are waiting, praying, and watching for Him to make the next move so we can follow Him.

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RESOURCES

 

 

 

Recommended links to websites, books, and other tools to help you focus on discipleship, mission, and community. Know a resource we should add here? Please let us know. Click here.

CONNECT

So, you've read through this site and you feel like you to are searching for more than just a church...  You are searching, looking, pursuing, longing for true life with Christ.

We aren't perfect, but we'd love to tell you more about our search for more and discover if perhaps Father is asking us to connect and walk together in this search. Once you submit this form, we'll reach out to you by phone or email within a few days.

NOTE Since this isn't about trying to attract people to gatherings or events, please know that our first face-to-face contact with you (if desired) will likely be in a one-on-one setting in a local coffee house or restaurant. Our treat!

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Gallatin, Tennessee, USA

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615.587.2273

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