By -, Dec 3 2018 11:36AM
I’m not going to go into a story from my past today. I just want to tell you a little teensy tiny bit about what I’ve been doing lately. I’m currently studying Pioneer Mission Leadership at Church Mission Society (CMS). This is an accredited ministry course that is recognised by the Church of England for providing training for those who are looking to be ordained as priests and deacons. CMS specialises in training a particular type of ministry, Pioneering. This is what I’m training to be, a Pioneer minister/missionary.
Whenever I tell people that I am a pioneer minister/missionary, most people think of covered wagons and other various ideas. The short story is that Pioneer ministers look at ways of pioneering the future of the ministry of the Church. This could be changing or transforming our idea of what’s typical in the traditions of church. It could be developing ways of connecting local communities with prayer or spirituality. It could be something as simple as a Bible and baking club. It could be something as complex as an international prayer movement. Pioneers are sometimes seen as those who are dreamers and visionaries. They have a knack for not fitting in. They live outside of the box. That’s Pioneering. Simple? Not necessarily. Complicated? Doesn’t have to be. Exciting? Definitely!
This week, I’ve been plowing through the first essay of the first module in my first year. I haven’t written essays for about 20 years, so the essay writing is a bit daunting. There’s a part of me that desperately wants to “get it right” and ace the essays and assignments I’m given. There’s a bigger part of me that loves being in this place of formation, in a situation where Jesus is given centre stage in 7 days of every week and God is glorified. There’s no need to rush it or wish it away. What would be worse is if I were to be formulaic and prescriptive in my approach, not being flexible enough to let the Holy Spirit move me.
Having said that I haven’t really been in formal education for a while (other than a handful of internships, an apprenticeship and EMT training), I decided to do a 2 year Diploma course over 3 years. The reason being that doing it over 3 years gives me the literal time and space to put into developing pioneer projects and ministries of my own. When I’ve needed a break from studying, I’ve been able to have lunch with people and chat and pray with them. I’ve been able to be in more situations that God has been pointing me toward. It’s totally cool!
The thing, for me, is this: I still go into schools to mentor and run Christian Unions (and I’m now officially a chaplain at one of the schools), and while I’m there I see something in the kids that I won’t see in their parents. There’s a subtle underlying depression and apathy. Many of the kids who have personal aspirations are not encouraged or supported in their goals and are therefore left in a place of hopelessness. There are also a substantial amount of kids who have little to no aspirations. All of the situations I see in these young people speak of more than just the situation of the “youth of today”, it speaks to the situation of their parents and the generations that have come before them. A society that lives without aspiration will support others to do the same. We have a huge opportunity to care. We need to step up and do it!
As I said above, Pioneers are visionaries. We “live in a place of vision”. Nicky Gumbel once wrote in a devotional “Vision has been defined as a combination of ‘a deep dissatisfaction with what is and a clear grasp of what could be’. If you have vision, you will always be able to say, ‘It’s not over.’ ” With that said, I have a vision how we, as the people of God move forward in our ministry. We will need to use all of the gifts and provision that God has given us and support each other in this ministry, but people’s lives will be transformed and God’s Love and Hope will be made known in this place. The vision I have been given is not small and it is a challenging task, but I know that in Christ I am able to do anything.With God, nothing is impossible! Neither is anything out of the question. Not even a lack of funds, resources or help. God has done more with those situations than with situations of plenty, situations of high profile or major international assistance. 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish… a stuttering coward… a wimpy boy with a handful of soldiers… a servant king murdered by the people he loved… God has done it all! If He can do amazing things with odds like these, He can carry out the vision He’s planted in me!
Here’s the catch, If you want to know more, you’ll have to ask me! Send me an email or talk to me in person. I’d love to help you find a way to get involved!
I feel like I need to leave the link to a song. I haven’t done that in a while. This song is speaking to me at the moment. I’ll write next week about the song that is making me an emotional wreck at the moment.
This week, I’ll be at FROME COLLEGE! Pray for this school. There are very few Christian influences here. It’s often the case that faith is seen as unnecessary and those who have a faith are marginalised. Depression and anxiety are very common and these two things are influential in this school. Self harming and suicidal tendencies are found in a good number of the kids
For the kids. They need to know the Love and Hope of Jesus. Without Him, they will continue in their spiritual spiral and will end up with more brokenness and despair than they have now. Pray that God would break through the barriers that they have been taught to hold up against Him and against pursuing faith in Him.
For the staff. Who have challenges with budget and staffing shortages. There are a number of frustrations that don’t seem to be letting up any time soon. Pray for a new excitement and a sort of freedom for the staff who are holding their own in the middle of the challenges they’re facing.
For me. I need inspiration for how to reach kids who don’t want to hear anything about God. I have a few kids I see regularly, but my conversations end up being more about managing to keep the dirty jokes to a minimum more than sharing that Jesus loves them.
Town Missions Work, Hope Frome
This Sunday is the LAST Hope Oasis @ the Frome Independent Market for 2018!!! We’ve given away well over 500 litres of water, served peace and refreshment to hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people. More to the point, we’ve shared the message of the Hope of Jesus Christ, in one way or another, to each of them
Please pray: This month is the Christmas market. We’ve put together a brilliant Christmas Card and attached a Star ornament to give out.
Church Youth Work
This week, Sunday Cafe is ON! 6:30-8:30.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, this SATURDAY NIGHT, we’ll be joining the Movement Worship event happening at WELLS CATHEDRAL. We’ll be leaving Trinity Church at 6:30. It’ll feature Tom Smith, Worship Leader at Soul Survivor and Joshua Luke Smith, a christian rapper. This’ll be a blast! If you know ANY teenagers, Invite them along!
I’ve already written about CMS, but Please keep praying for inspiration and that God would continue shaping me to be who He wants me to be!