Embracing Innovation in Mission
23 Mar 2021
Sitting wherever you are right now, please read and consider this:
The world is changing faster than it ever has before, and yet this rate of change is the slowest it will ever be again.
I don’t know about you, but that is a scary thought! Some days it feels like we’re barely keeping up with this current rate of change. To think that it is just going to get faster, might make some people seriously consider retreating into the mountains to live as hermits!
But for all of us working in missions, for all those living out the Great Commission, there is no retreat. Instead, we must put aside our discomfort with change, our fear of the unknown, and look for opportunities to keep innovating, changing, adapting…
Because the Truth is that as Christians, we have the greatest capacity to deal with change. We have something that the rest of the world does not: a personal relationship with the living God. He is the only constant, the Alpha and the Omega, our high fortress, our solid Rock. While the rest of the world is buffeted by change, we have somewhere to retreat, an eternal embrace to rest and recharge in, a powerful Father to hand our troubles over to.
Christian businessman William Pollard (not to be confused with the 1800s Quaker William Pollard) wrote:
“Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement…The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
Innovation can be defined as the proactive generation and execution of ideas that create value. It is about recognising a challenge that we face, and seeking out and implementing a solution to it.
In 1959 our media team began radio broadcasts into North Africa. 62 years later we’re using secular marketing strategies, mobile apps, and Zoom to connect with, and help disciple, seekers across the Arab World. The growth and development that brought us to where we are today, was made possible by those workers before us who were willing to embrace change and innovation to meet the challenges of spreading the gospel across the Arab World.
As an organisation, Pioneers recognises how important and strategic innovation is to the growth and continuation of Kingdom work, and has partnered with a team whose focus is on training others how to innovate well. Members of our media ministry are currently taking part in one of the 4-week online training workshops. Without giving away too many spoilers from their course I would like to leave you with this one teaching point from our first session:
WE are the greatest barrier to innovation in mission. Our judgements, cynicism, and fear create the strongest resistance to exploring innovative solutions.
Innovation and change can be scary. But remember: We are NOT ALONE.
If we practice humility and suspend negative judgement. Who knows what windows we might see the Lord opening after he’s closed the most obvious doors!
-Rosie T., a Pioneers worker serving in Europe.
Is God calling you to join the mission field? Get in touch.