What do you actually do?!

2 Jun 2023

A Note from Simon Longden | Pioneers National Director

A few months ago, as we farewelled one of our younger team members to take up a role with Victoria Police, during his farewell speech he kindly thanked me for “everything I do”. Then he said, “actually, I’m not even sure what it is you do, but thank you anyway!”.  😊 That really did make me smile. Sometimes describing what I do is like picking up jelly; it’s not particularly easy and it’s a bit messy.

Among other things, I am responsible to provide strategic and visionary leadership for the furtherance of the goals of Pioneers. Making disciples and planting churches among unreached peoples to the glory of God remains my burning passion. People are desperately lost without Christ – and Aussie believers make a lasting difference as they live and serve in places where people sometimes have never heard of who the Lord Jesus is, about what he has done for them, and about how they can have a personal relationship with him.

I have some international responsibilities too. In April, I was in Central Asia sharing with missionary leaders for a couple of days about what healthy leadership looks like and how healthy teams can best function as they serve. Then I gave Bible talks during a larger gathering for a week about ‘the spiritual life’. It was such a privilege.

Want to know what I came away with (apart from a few extra kilos in body weight)? An unshakable conviction that God’s plan to draw people to himself through very ordinary followers of Jesus is a good plan. Most people become Christians because they see Christians. People who live out and speak about the gospel that changed their lives. It’s that simple. And it’s that hard. Living and working and witnessing among other peoples takes courage, humility, grit, grace, faith, perseverance and prayer. But it can be done. It is being done, all over the world.

And, from time to time, those cross-cultural witnesses get together for refreshment and renewal at events such as the one I recently attended. It was a wonderful time. And, I pray, the impact of the collective sharing and mutual learning will stay with each participant for a long, long time.

And I hope I lose a bit of weight over the next couple of weeks. 😊

Simon Longden | Pioneers Australia National Director

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