Oikos is the greek Bible word for "household" or "extended family". In New Testament times, "family" included a lot more than just mom and dad and 2.2 kids, a dog, and a white picket fence. It encompassed multiple generations, aunt, cousins that would look more like a Christmas dinner or a family reunion than our nuclear families.
We've lost something significant in our culture. Most of us don't experience the power of extended families any more. We have relatives, but they often live far away and we don't see them on a daily basis. With Missional Communities we're reclaiming the strength of being together. We don't have to live alone and just try to get through life. We can truly thrive and enjoy life when when share our joys and struggles with others. As a bonus, all the things that Jesus calls us to do are not only more effective, but way more fun in groups. We know it can be intimidating to invite someone to church, but it's easy to invite someone to dinner with your friends. It can be hard to face a huge problem like homelessness in our communities on your own, but it's energizing to get your hands dirty with your friends and change lives together.
We are extended spiritual families gathering in our neighborhood Missional Communities (MC's). They are communities that do mission. The leaders of an MC are passionate about a specific OUT as they lead their extended spiritual family to make an impact in that area. Typically Missional Communities gather a few times a month for a meal. Children are involved at different levels in each MC. Groups range in size from 15-40+. They're small enough to care, but big enough to dare. Meaning they're small enough where you can really connect and support one another, but large enough that they can really make a difference as they join with Christ and his mission of love. Some MC's serve the poor and homeless in Riverside. Others are reaching out to their neighborhoods. Others serve children in hospitals and struggling teenagers.