The first questions is: What is a missional community?
There are quite a few post on this topic with some great insight into what really makes us a MC and how they operate. Take a minute to go through the recap by going to this link: http://www.vergenetwork.org/2011/01/10/question-1-what-is-a-missional-community-article-re-cap/
The second question so far is: How is an MC different from a...?
The first post on this question is by Jeff Vanderstelt as he discusses what the difference is between MC and bible studies. Jeff states that the main difference between the two is the difference in the primary goals.
"The goal of most Bible studies is to study the Bible. We believe the goal of a missional community is to make disciples who make disciples. We clarify that the mission of making disciples with our missional communities will require studying the bible, but often bible studies don’t require that you make disciples."I've seen this many times over the many years I've been in church. It's easy to come to a bible study, say on a Wednesday night at church. It's a whole different ball game to be actively involved in making disciples.
"In fact, our discovery has been that many people have studied the Bible for years and have never led anyone to faith in Jesus, equipped people for ministry and sent out more to do the same. It’s as if we have come to believe that knowing the Bible equals faith in and obedience to God."When is the last time that we've read something from the Bible and taken it as literally, "That is how we are supposed to live, now let's do it."
As we venture out into launching our first MC here in Ada. My prayer is that God would change how we view our definition of obeying God. Bible study is not an end in itself, but a tool to help us understand what the will of God is so that we might obey it and live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. Let's read the Bible to learn how God wants us to live.