The church is dead. Long live the church. Okay, maybe that is a bit “full-on”. Perhaps it is not dying, and maybe the statistics are misleading, but essentially the church is dying. For those who will stop reading at this point, just let me say that this is my opinion of what reality is showing in today’s church. And before I go any further, for those who jump on the bandwagon and get yourselves all upset because I said “failing”, do not forget the ministry of Jesus was perceived as a failure until a few pioneers began to retell the story.
In the post covid pandemic era, the church must recognise that God is calling His people to work radically differently from the roles that pastors, ministers and church leaders traditionally occupied in the past. Christian communities need to be built where the people are rather than expect the people to come into currently existing church congregations. We should be pioneering and taking this opportunity that has arisen. This is an opportunity to do something different and create an alternative to the traditional church model available throughout our cities & towns.
Pioneering is an opportunity to minister without the responsibilities of traditional church ministry roles and, therefore, must be encouraged. Pioneers are creative, spirit-filled and proactive people with intended purposes that do ministry in a way that can be found in Acts 2. A pioneer’s community has no boundaries. Pioneers are content not to be understood and don’t want to be labelled or put into a box.
While traditional ministry is reactive, these leaders are expected to be found in certain places, at certain times for the facilitation of conventional church services (And this is also needed), with people coming to them, serving a community behind church doors. They work as line managers, guided by an employer’s handbook more so than the word of God, with expectations that they legally must meet. Often, they end up working for someone who doesn’t know what it is like to be a Christian.
Pioneers are needed more than ever. One who goes before, preparing the way for others. Pioneers are empowered by the Holy Spirit, with a passion for Jesus and a desire to see people coming to know Jesus and disciple them to join church fresh or inherited communities.