I first came across the ministry of Tim Chester and Steve Timmis a number of years ago. They have a missional community-oriented church in Sheffield, England (yes, I know, ironic, huh). Sheffield, England, interestingly was the birthplace of Mike Breen's work, as well, @ St Thomas Anglican. Disclaimer; Chester & Timmis function in the reformed wing of theology, but unlike their US compatriots they don't wear it on their sleeves. I have just finished reading one of their recent books, Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission, which is a kind of practical ministry reflection on 1 Peter.
Here are some thoughts from their concluding chapter:
If you are a small church then be a [missional] community. Stop worrying about putting on events and programs that mirror big churches. Instead, start being the people of God together on mission. Hang out together during the week. Get in and out of each other's homes. Let people know the struggles you are facing and the opportunities you have. Find ways in which your lives can intersect with one another. Invite unbelievers into this community life.
They had been fleshing out all those notions throughout the book. Then they give a final shot at why we don't actually do this.
1. The endemic individualism of our culture that also pervades our attitudes as Christians. We have a desire to control our own lives. We prize self-sufficiency -- I can do this on my own. We are unwilling to open our lives to one another and allow our decisions to be shaped by the Christian community to which we belong.
2. Our desire for comfort -- we do not want to open our lives and homes to people. People we like, OK, but not all those others! We do not want to move out of our comfort zones.
3. Fear is an obstacle -- the fear that people might see us for who we really are, up close and personal.
4. People. If there was only a way to do Christian community without people! Theories and models are great until we actually have to try it with real human beings.
The piece we miss is that "the people of God living together on mission is the good life. This is life as it was meant to be lived."