A Highly Relational Approach to Mission
7 Jan 2019
In Pioneers we want to go far. One of the striking characteristics of the Pioneers global movement is that we highly prize what God produces through shared vision and collaboration within community. You see this in our commitment to Team, one of our core values. This commitment is played out in every single context; not just on our field teams, but in our global leadership forums, mobilisation bases and offices, and boards. Our entire ethos and structure rests on the strength, growth, creativity, diversity and cohesiveness of our teams.
So, what does it look like to be so highly relational?
A high priority is given to face to face time
In our experience, God often brings about the best outcomes in our sharing together in the bible and through prayer. We celebrate our value Passion for God. Jesus said, ‘When two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst’ (Matt 18:20). So, we come together in our teams to pray.
We drive ministry strategy and decision-making from the local level
Field teams, we believe, discern how best to reach their communities. Participatory Servant Leadership (another core value) means we commit to an interactive leadership style which invites each team member to contribute and cultivates more discussion, more prayer, and more face to face time.
We understand that teams honour God by the quality of their loving relationships
Teams that go far love each other. ‘By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, when you have love one for another’ (John 13:35).
The bar is set very high
As you know where there are people, there will be failures, misunderstandings, differing perspectives. Consider, too, the stresses of living and working in spiritually and physically tough places, and tensions can flair. But our Ethos of Grace value means Pioneers teams, wherever they may be, strive to be places where forgiveness, mercy and grace flow between members.
Much care is needed for individuals and for team relationships if we are to go the distance. Stress, cultural conflict, team challenges, isolation, sickness and more can terminate a missionary’s service prematurely. And nobody wants that. If we want to go far we must go together. It takes all of us: team members, field leaders, mobilisation, member care and finance teams, sending churches, prayer supporters and board members to link arms to the glory of God. We are in this together.
Thank you for being part of the team effort, in all the ways you are. Your prayers, your financial giving, and your encouragement of the missionaries you love matters more than you know. You are helping them go far for the sake of those who are yet to know Jesus.
– Dr. Judy Fitzmaurice, Chair of the board for Pioneers of Australia