Missional Communities are Evangelistic

InterVarsity’s missional communities are described as “evangelistic,” but what do we mean by this term? 


Evangelistic is an awareness that the missional community does not merely exist for those who already believe, but invites skeptics and seekers to investigate and experience God so they can begin to follow Jesus with their heart, mind, soul and strength.

Why is this important?

The love of Jesus compels us to love those who are far away from God (2 Corinthians 5:14). It’s in the very nature of being disciples. Jesus commanded his followers, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). The Christian message was always meant to spread: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Missional communities integrate evangelism into all they do. Every structure and event has been tweaked and adjusted in order to be more welcoming for non-Christians and more fruitful in conversions. Evangelism and conversions are the “new normal.” But it doesn’t stop there; we seek God for conversion movements—conversions that lead to conversions. This includes spreading stories of conversions that inspire other missional communities to expect God to lead others to faith.

Application for Student Leaders

  • In Christ in intimacy with God:
    Ask God to experience his heart for the students and faculty on your campus who don’t yet follow Jesus, and ask him to show you where you should be sent. It could be a student group, a dormitory or a particular friend.

  • Like Christ in character:
    Be hospitable. Pay attention to your surroundings when you’re in your classes, dorm, apartment, or just hanging out and find ways to welcome people, whether they are religious or not.

  • With Christ in mission:
    Find other Christians who would like to partner with you and pray together for those you feel led to. Plan how you will reach out to these communities or friends, and take the first risky step of faith to put your plans into action.

Application for Chapters

  • In Christ in intimacy with God:
    Create regular times of prayer together where you ask God to open the hearts of your friends, classmates, dormmates, faculty members and campus administrators. Take time to listen to God’s leading, debrief together and respond.

  • Like Christ in character:
    Be hospitable. Pay attention to your small groups, large groups and other fellowship events and ask this question: Would skeptics or seekers feel welcome here? If not, what changes would you need to make?

  • With Christ in mission:
    Plant new ministries in unreached areas. Ask: Who isn’t in the room with us yet? Who is God leading us to next? Help leaders start small groups or other kinds of ministries in these new spaces. Don’t wait for people to come to you; find ways to reach out to others in his name.

--by James Choung and Doug Schaupp

Missional communities are incarnational, evangelistic, and apostolic. Learn more about these three characteristics and their implications for InterVarsity leaders and chapters.