Here's a new video which tells the stories of some of the students on the CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership course.
I'm halfway through the CMS MA and can wholeheartedly recommend the course. It's a fantastic melting pot bringing together the latest thinking around pioneer ministry, two centuries of cross-cultural mission experience, and an amazing group of students who are all trying out new things in their own contexts and communities.
You can find more information about the course, as well as some great interviews and ...
Last summer, myself and some other Anglican ordinands were taken on a field trip to visit a really community-engaged church which, among many other things, was working with a local Money Advice Centre.
As we sat around, the manager of the centre told us the stories of people who were struggling to survive through changes to the current benefit system.
She told the story of a man living in a four-bedroom house who had fallen prey of the bedroom tax because one of ...
I found these questions for reflection really helpful, so I thought I'd post them up for you to perhaps be able to reflect on as well. Andrews suggests taking some time to sit in silence, and write down your answers:
1. What is the community that I feel called to live in more faithfully?
2. How can I connect with the people in my community more effectively?
3. How can I empty myself to make more time and space for others?
4. How can I ...
Poem Source: The War Poetry Website
Image: Red Poppies for Remembrance - Arwen Twinkle
How does social change happen?
Over the last couple of weeks, Russell Brand's edition of New Statesman, and his interview with Jeremy Paxman, have been garnering a lot of interest and attention. In the interview, Paxman seemed to be mainly concerned with Brand's refusal to vote, and whether this is really an effective way to bring about change.
For a long time there have been discussions among pioneers about whether change comes from inside or outside of structures. This could apply to both ...
The Church Urban Fund has released a great summary of ABCD or Asset-based Community Development.
We wrote about taking an asset-based approach to pioneer ministry last month. The CUF report, titled 'Tackling Poverty in England: An Asset-based Approach', provides a great starting point for you to think about how to implement this approach in your context:
You can download the CUF report here.
HT: Richard Passmore
Last week Theos (a ThinkTank on religion and society) released a really interesting report, called The Spirit of Things Unseen, looking at how spiritual we are as a society in light of the decline of formal religion over the last half-century.
And what they found was really interesting:
...for all that formalised religious belief and institutionalised religious belonging has declined over recent decades, the British have not become a nation of atheists or materialists. On the contrary, a spiritual current runs as, if not more, ...
With The Lab community in Alway, for a while we've been trying to find ways to identify and work with the existing spirituality of local young people. What we've always found incredibly interesting is how spiritual young people are. We once did a straw pole of thirty teenagers and found that about two thirds of them believed in some kind of spirits or ghosts. Since then, we've always been looking for resources and ideas to help develop some of that innate ...
Do you start with what your community needs, or the assets it already has?
There are a lot of similarities between the practice of pioneer ministry and community development principles.
A key stage in growing new forms of church has to do with loving and serving those in the community you're looking to engage. Whether that's a geographical community or a cultural grouping or network, the approach is the same - to come alongside those in the community and find ways to honestly ...