Lessons from the season
Many people would love to pioneer. But as in all things, there are basics to cover. For example, if you want to climb a mountain you have to learn the basic safety protocols. If you want to be successful at fruit picking you need to understand the season you are in, so Jesus says when you see the fig tree leaves, and the leaves on the trees you know Summer is around. There are lessons to be learned in this season we are in. One good place to learn lessons about pioneering new works is our regional teams.
Ten Basic Lessons in pioneering
I am going to share ten basic lessons I personally learned from pioneering, some which I see reflected in just three of the pioneering works out of several that just one of our regional teams the EBMA have supported and facilitated under the leadership of the Revd Mark Clay and his team. I am doing this back to front because after I share the basic lessons I will share the three examples.
- Baptists are natural pioneers, they just get it.
- No two pioneering contexts are ever the same
- Those who pursue their vision with almost exclusive intentionality are more likely to succeed.
- In almost all successful pioneering context there is a sense of Calling to the work.
- Those who lead it felt called by God to sacrifice for it.
- Prayer is the context out of which the new work is
seededin your heart.
- Courage is a helpful ingredient.
- Fear is an obstacle that everyone at some stage has to overcome.
- Many people seeing your success will try and drag you into ‘other stuff’, stay in your lane until the work is well established. The temptation is to feel successful when you have little in your hands by filling your life with an activity that makes you look successful. don’t take the bait.
- The more Christ is visible in the work the easier it is for people to find him. The more he is obscured in the work the harder it is for people to see him in it. Be clear about what you are doing for Christ and how you are going to make him known in it.
Regional Heroes EMBA’s success in pioneering.
I’m sure they would not describe themselves as Heroes, but I would, as I said EMBA have several pioneering contexts worth exploring here are three that will encourage you to list
Take the work at Castle Donington Community Church, Derbyshire supported through Home Mission and the support of the Soar Valley Baptist churches, this new community was birthed in 2018 and welcomed into membership of both the Association and BU in 2019 it s a rapidly growing church. What I love about this church led by pioneer pastor, Roy Monks is that it is a prayer community which saw healing, many decisions for Christ and more than ten baptisms in its first year. WOW! https://communitychurchcastledonington.co.uk/
And of course, we are all proud of Renew Wellbeing www.renewwellbeing.org.uk Ruth Rice’s ministry is one I am particularly supporting in my presidential year. She just gets people and the importance of allowing people to be themselves. Renew Wellbeing, established the first Renew centre, Renew 37 in West Bridgford, Nottingham whilst ministering at New Life Baptist Church, and as they say the rest is history. Each church partners with a mental health professional from the local council to ensure good inclusive practices for safe spaces where its OK not to be OK can be sustained.
Or take Sutton St James Baptist Church Community Hub, Lincolnshire www.ssjbc.org.uk Sue and Arnie Hensby arrived at this small Baptist Church, on the brink of closure, in the autumn of 2017 with a clear calling from God to open the doors of His house and to love people; to rebirth the church.
The vision was to provide a hub for the local community where they can meet for a cuppa and healing or take their first or next steps on their own faith journey, the church being intentional about ‘revealing Jesus’ in all that they do. Through the various events and activities organised by the church, the wider church family (people with whom the church is in meaningful contact) is now in excess of 200 and the Sunday congregation has grown from 3 faithful ladies to 28 adults and 22 children!
Two keys to not miss your season
- Do not be distracted in this season by a lot of activity, take the time to reflect and pray, the most important thing you can do in this season is to hear God point the way for you personally, not pick up another good idea.
- Find a coach, a practitioner that can help you implement your vision, of course, I would say sign up with us here and we will do our best to help you.