Is the church in danger of domesticating and institutionalising pioneers? (Dave Male)

Monday, 2 March, 2009

Dave Male asks whether the church is in danger of domesticating and institutionalising pioneers.

Dave MaleI thoroughly agreed with everything that Mark Russell wrote on the Share Blog on 2nd January (What a great picture for a caption competition as well, Mark! Any suggestions?) We need more pioneers and evangelists working on the margin and with the gifts and abilities to connect with people way outside the orbit of the church.

I think my fear is that we, as the church, can be in danger of domesticating and institutionalising pioneers, and I say this as someone who is involved in training pioneers. I worry sometimes where the dangerous and radical pioneers are. I hear discussions amongst possible pioneers about job prospects, career opportunities, education possibilities, stipends and pay, housing and pensions, but less of the 'go anywhere, do anything, send me out for the sake of the good news of Jesus' approach … and training institutions can sometimes give the impression that what really matters is the ability to fit in and not rock the boat, while of course getting good marks for your essays.

Two recent experiences have really got me thinking. Firstly, I recently was talking with another leader and we started talking about what you actually need to know in terms of education and training before you can start pioneering. A very interesting conversation ensued during which we reckoned the essential information required was very modest, requiring a month at the most, and further training could be provided as required by the situation and context.

Secondly, I was reading a conversation between two church leaders in America. They were each asked how they would start a church. One talked about raising money, paying leaders, hiring facilities, creating a worship event. The second replied, 'We would drop two people off in the centre of the town and then spend a lot of time in prayer.' Now, that got me thinking…

About the author: 

Dave Male is involved in training pioneers in two Anglican theological colleges in Cambridge and is planting a church to connect with sports people, called Relay.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
We use spam protection. View privacy policy.