Some people go on mission trips far from home. Some become full-time missionaries, living in remote villages and learning new languages and customs. These folks seem to have an extraordinary capability to live in a foreign land, and capacity to cope with possible illness, violence or even death.

The simplest explanation for what might be perceived as heroic virtue is found in the Gospel of Matthew 25:37-40:

“‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

Missional living within Community First! Village is a way to live out this challenge to serve the poor while maintaining balance in your life, in your family, and in your job. And you don’t have to leave Austin to do it!

When Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ founder, Alan Graham, imagined the Missional role, he meant for it to be a guilt-free ministry. Here’s a chance for a family or single person to enter a life-giving dance in answer to the scriptural call to serve the broken, the outcast, the mentally ill, the drug abuser, the criminal—or as Mother Theresa would say, “Jesus, in His most distressing disguise.”

Compelled by the love of God, I choose to make my home at Community First! Village alongside those having suffered chronic homelessness. I affirm my neighbors’ worth by honoring their inherent dignity, giving respect, and offering encouragement as we form relationships while building and experiencing community together. – Community First! Village Missional Identity Statement

Missional neighbors living in Community First! Village participate in activities that support the emotional growth and physical health of our formerly homeless friends, as well as of their fellow Missionals. Participating in these activities is a minimum requirement for Missionals. But those truly called to live missionally are seldom “minimum people.” Recognizing their gifts, they share their lives generously. Simply put, Missionals are intentionally good neighbors—knowing and being known; human beings not human doings. They’re givers, yes, but receive so much more: trust, laughter, smiles, perhaps hearing your name called across the garden and seeing a neighbor wave ‘good morning’, or a tangible gift like getting your car washed or receiving half a cold watermelon. Committed to sharing their abilities, gifts, talents, and time, Missionals make serving in Community First! Village their priority, doing the best they can to serve.

The calling to be a Missional is not for everyone. It is of utmost importance to us that every discerning Missional know what they are getting into from the very beginning.

  • The discernment process is lengthy—taking a year or more, and requiring locals to serve at the Village for several hours most weeks during that time. (Out-of-town candidates follow an adjusted process plan.)
  • Most missionals live in an RV or Park Model RV that they purchase themselves after receiving pre-approval from MLF. All missionals are responsible for upkeep, repairs and maintenance.
  • Some single missionals might choose an MLF Tiny home which does not include running water and therefore must use the communal restrooms, showers and kitchen.
  • Missionals must have the time to make missional living their top service priority, and commit to reside 85% of their nights in the Village.
  • Missionals recommit to the missional life on an annual basis.
  • Missionals commit to various teams and mandatory attendance at various meetings.
  • Even the application described herein will take considerable time to complete. Don’t rush. It doesn’t have to be finished in a single sitting.

The bottom line is: missional living is a life-changing commitment. It’s hard—very rewarding, but hard. If you’re serious, curious and think God could be calling you, pace yourself and read on.

It Takes A Village

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. Missionals interact with residents and each other in numerous ways, large and small. Every visit is an opportunity to listen, encourage, affirm and deepen intentional relationships.

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