The average day for a Missional in Community First! Village is as different as the personalities and walks of life of those called to serve.
Some Missionals are retired and interact with neighbors first thing each day through gardening together or at the on-campus dog park. Some interact with neighbors by hosting breakfast once a week or on a walk through the Village prior to going to work. And others have to get kids ready for school and themselves ready for work, so the best they can manage is to call neighbors by name, smile and wave ‘good morning’ on the drive to the front gate.
Midday comes and our neighbors are out and about, many working around the Village as part of Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ Community Works program—cutting grass, groundskeeping, cleaning common kitchens or restrooms, or producing “goodness” through any of the micro-enterprise opportunities available to them.
Missionals interact with residents and each other in numerous ways, large and small. Depending on boundaries and availability, a Missional might volunteer in Genesis Gardens or the art house, pick up a prescription for a neighbor or offer a ride to the supermarket. Evening comes and Missionals encounter neighbors at the bus stop, checking the mailboxes or walking their dogs. Every visit is an opportunity to listen, encourage, affirm and deepen intentional relationships.
Missionals are organized on committees to provide support in a structured manner to neighbors and fellow missionals:
Service to neighbors
- MLF is headquartered in Community First! Village and actively manages the neighbor population. Through experience and wisdom, staff members recognize individuals who might otherwise fall through the cracks. Missionals are called on to contact these at-risk neighbors from time to time, inviting them to participate more fully in the communal experience on campus.
- MLF also identifies neighbors who are vulnerable in some way, who may need specific, additional care. Again, Missionals answer the call to serve.
- And with all the new construction, lots of new neighbors are always arriving to the Village. Missionals play a key role in connecting new neighbors to resources, helping them become acquainted with life in the Village. All missionals support MLF in meeting these needs, human-to-human and heart-to-heart.
Service to fellow Missionals
- MLF’s target Missional population in Community First! Village is 20%. Existing Missionals are asked to support new, discerning or aspiring Missional neighbors. These roles usually last one-year and involve a regular rhythm of meetings.
- Serving those ravaged by poverty, injustice, mental illness and addiction is particularly taxing and can lead to fatigue and burn-out. Downtime away from Community First! Village is a must. Equally important, however, is that Missionals have downtime with each other. This unique fellowship with Missionals—sharing the journey—is an absolute godsend. Beyond serving together, Missionals also have structured and unstructured “Missional-only” time—walking groups, cookouts, ice cream socials, potluck dinners, cart path conversations, porch visits, board games, wine and cheese, monthly small group meetings, quarterly all-hands meetings and our annual off-campus retreat. Missional neighbors stand in the gap for each other, linking arms and sharing the burden.
As you have no doubt gathered, there is not a simple list with a checkbox for all the things Missionals do. Missionals live prayerful, connected lives, and out of a spirit of gratitude, step up where needed, respond when the Spirit prompts, and offer what we can to be of service.