Pioneer New Ministries

What can we learn from those pioneers who forged westward in our country in the 18th and 19th century? They started something new where little or nothing existed before.

In Navigators Neighbors we believe that we all have a bit of a pioneering spirit in us that needs to be developed and fully expressed. That’s why as we unpack our Nav Neighbors Guiding and Defining Ideas, we’ve included Guiding Principle #8: Pioneer new ministry. Let me explain.

We believe each of us is able to do evangelism by giving our testimony and sharing the gospel, but not all of us are gifted evangelists. Similarly, most of us have a variety of counseling skills and use them effectively, but not all of us are certified counselors. While each of us can start something new, not all of us are gifted and called as pioneers.

We recognize that there is a wide spectrum of pioneering activity. At one end of the spectrum is replication, starting something new of the same kind. In the ministry context replication may look like starting a new campus or community ministry. The key is that the new ministry follows the same pattern as previous ministries and usually among a similar audience.

At the other end of the spectrum is starting something new of a different kind. These differences may be in context, culture, religion, language, or socio-economics. The greater the differences, the more likely the pioneer will need to be apostolically gifted. Cross-cultural missionaries both here and abroad are often this type of apostolic pioneer.

We believe you, as a member of Navigators Neighbors, fall somewhere on this spectrum. We want you to let that “pioneering spirit” out of the bottle. Within the boundaries of the Neighbors Guiding and Defining Ideas, we want you to feel the freedom to experiment and innovate and come up with new expressions of ministry.

I hope this comes as a huge encouragement to you! In light of it, what new thing is on your heart? What new thing have you begun lately?