The Joys Of Community
Pioneers is an international fellowship of believers joined together in a common purpose – the establishment of mulitplying communities of God’s people around the world where few currently exist.
There are enormous benefits to be found in belonging to a supportive community where the organisational structure exists solely to help you be the best you can be for God’s glory. We’ve heard reports from our workers that missionaries from other organisations have expressed envy about our teams, longing in their own organisations for the level of loving care our team members show for one another. However, those organisations are structured more along business lines and the relationships aren’t nearly as interpersonal. We’ve met members of other organisations who regularly attend Pioneers’ area retreats because they love the deep personal ministry that happens at Pioneers’ retreats that they don’t get with their organisations.
That all sounds very nice, but it isn’t all roses! Relationships are hard work. Good relationships take huge effort. Good intra-team cross-cultural relationships take SUPERNATURAL effort. And that’s exactly why we work in teams…
“May they be brought to complete unity TO LET THE WORLD KNOW that you have sent me…” (John 17:23)
We work in small, dynamic, semi-autonomous, multi-dimensional teams as a deliberate witness to the love of Christ at work in and through us. There are many benefits, but there is also a cost. It requires being willing to lay aside your preferences at times for the sake of others. Being willing to look for the compromise. Allowing the fruit of the Spirit to be powerfully revealed through your life.
Implications of Membership
Some of the implications of membership in Pioneers include…
- Shifting your worldview from individualistic to collective – you cease to become an independent entity
- What you do will affect others (fellow team mates, Mobilisation Base, sending church, supporters, etc)
- You will need to learn to consult before making significant decisions (include your team, team leader, Mobilisation Base, church, etc)
- Putting up with others’ idiosyncrasies – sometimes other people are just weird (but what does that make you?!)
- Being careful with funds donated for your use – it’s not quite the same as earning an income
- Corresponding regularly with the Mobilisation Base (i.e. Pioneers NZ) and your sending Church.
Guiding Grace Principles
In order to function well from diverse generational, cultural, philosophical, and theological backgrounds we have developed a statement on difference that says,
“Pioneers is an international fellowship comprised of evangelicals drawn from many different churches and backgrounds. Our desire is to work in harmony with our national church partners and Christian colleagues on the basis of essential doctrines as found in our Statement of Faith. These are doctrines on which, historically, there has been general agreement among all true followers of Christ.
In matters not addressed by our Statement of Faith, Pioneers acknowledges differing points of view provided they are based on the Bible as the supreme authority, and that no interpretation or practice will undermine the work of the gospel or the unity among those with whom we serve. We seek to live, work, and relate to one another in a spirit of love and humility, as outlined in Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 13, and other passages.”
Now you know that membership has both privileges and responsibilities, are you still interested? Check out our Membership Process…next