Pioneers International Director encourages us to Keep Pioneering!
10 Jan 2024
It is amazing to think that Pioneers missionaries now come from around 90 passport countries and serve among unreached peoples in more than 100 countries. Our founder, Ted Fletcher, had a vision that Pioneers would mobilise from all over the world, and this is our reality today, by God’s grace. The harvest workforce is very different to what it was 40+ years ago when Pioneers was birthed in the USA, and changes in the global mission landscape have led us to ask how we remain effective ministers of the gospel in this generation.
We continue to ask questions of ourselves, including “what does it take to maintain our pioneering spirit and remain in pioneering mode as we grow?” And, “how do we continue to serve effectively alongside the local churches around the world to see churches planted among unreached peoples?”
We believe these three ways will help us continue to pioneer…
- The first dimension of pioneering which continues to be our primary ministry over the years is to continue sending long-team missionaries to engage the least reached. There is, of course, a place for short-term strategies, but many of the people groups we serve are those with little witness and/or meagre fruit. It takes people willing to go deep and long into the culture to see gospel breakthroughs in these communities.
2. The second dimension we prioritise is to help emerging mission movements around the world to mature. God is raising missionaries from many countries that were, until fairly recently, seen as missionary-receiving countries (and in some cases expatriate missionaries still serve there). An example of this is a recent gathering we had the privilege of attending with dozens of heads of denominations in an East African country. Africa is now the continent with the highest number of Christians, and they realise a responsibility to send the gospel beyond Africa. They are looking for partnerships to help them develop systems and training to mobilise their members for missions.
Missionaries are not just being sent from the legacy Western countries, but countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America are also starting to send their own missionaries. What was previously a trickle is growing into a flood, and God is truly “sending from everywhere to everywhere”. We believe Pioneers has the opportunity to serve these new mission movements with what we have learned from over 40 years of mobilising missionaries.
- 3. The third dimension is to serve individual churches around the world and to see them mature in their mission-sending capacity. We are called to help churches engage in the Great Commission, and many of our mobilisation offices and teams already do this, coming alongside the church to serve in discipleship and evangelism and with special cross-cultural skills as they begin to send their own missionaries.
Ted wrote in his book, When God Comes Calling,
“When God came calling in my life, I knew I wanted to be part of a movement that was stamped by a sense of destiny. I still want nothing less. My passion is to see the Lord of the harvest raise up a body of men and women who are an elite force, risking all and willing to die to take Christ where He is not known.”
These words continue to resonate with us and fuel our commitment to be a movement serving alongside local churches all over the world to raise up and release men and women who will desire to take the gospel where Christ is not known, where the church has not been planted. All this for God’s glory.
Mark Syn | Pioneers Australia Member and Pioneers International Director
Is God calling you to join the mission field? Get in touch.