“If you want to know where you are going, you have to know where you have been.”
In the summer of 2008, thirty-five people committed to living our lives together, learning about the gospel, and serving the city of Tempe. We called ourselves “Tempe City Church.” Our hope was to have a church that didn’t organize around a building or a weekly service, but rather around smaller communities committed to living their lives together and serving the city. We wanted to see the city of Tempe saturated with these families of missionary servants.
As we grew, we realized that while we were centralized in Tempe, God was providing opportunities in other areas of the Valley as well. We changed our name to Missio Dei Communities to better reflect what we saw God doing in our church. Missio Dei is a Latin term that means “the mission of God.” We believe God is on a mission to rescue his creation and his people. He has done that ultimately through Jesus. We are communities trying to figure out how we can faithfully play our role in the missio Dei.
The last 9 years has been one beautiful mess with surprises, set backs, and unbelievable transformations. We’ve planted missional communities, seen growth, experienced failures, planted a church, planted another church, and been amazed as Jesus works to grow our love of Jesus, one anther, and his world. If nothing else, we are a testimony to the fact that God rescues his people, fills them with His Spirit, and gives them everything they need to live as His family of missionary servants.
Our prayer has always been that God will continue to multiply these Missional Communities so that we could see the whole Valley saturated with families of missionary servants. We aren’t just saying that, but taking intentional steps to see it actually take place.
The work of planting the gospel here is far from complete, but God has been gracious to see us raised up into a family of missionary servants doing the work of making, maturing, and multiplying disciples here in the Valley. He gets the glory because there is no way we could have mapped out this beautiful story that is being written.