Understanding Culture

Why do we need mission pioneers? CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership Training

http://vimeo.com/93589860 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 ... Read more

Personhood and the Benefit System

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 ... Read more

5 questions to help you engage with your community

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 ... Read more

Never Again: A Remembrance Day Poem #SpiritualitySundays

Poem Source: The War Poetry Website Image: Red Poppies for Remembrance - Arwen Twinkle Read more

#9: Transcending Structures and Social Change #TaylorTuesdays

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 ... Read more

Great summary of asset-based community development #ABCD

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 Read more

Research: UK has been becoming post-religious but not post-spiritual

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, ... Read more

Finding a community’s existing spirituality, myths and theologies

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 ... Read more

Pioneer Ministry: Start with the assets of your context, not the needs

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 ... Read more

The Incomplete Activist: the character of a pioneer minister?

I love this animation from CreativeConnection and Chris Erskine, which explores the inner life and character of activists. I think a lot of this applies to those who are pioneers as well. There seems to be a lot of convergence between these three roles which have garnered attention recently: The Entrepreneur in the business world The Community Activist in the voluntary sector The Pioneer Minister in the church world   HT: Gemma Dunning Read more
Next Page »