Thursday, 29 November 2012
28th November 2012 Pioneer Connexion
Here is something dear to my heart. I may be hopelessly wrong about it but I sense a real God moment, a real KAIROS moment whenever I meet the immensely charming Billy Kennedy who is the leader of the Pioneer Network. They have a real ‘servant heart’ as Eunice (X VP) put it – she’s right. They work with Churches in Southampton and elsewhere to continue and not replace the Methodist mission of years back. They grew out of the Charismatic renewal of the 70’s and 80’s, a network of churches for whom God had made a real impact under the leadership of Gerald Coates. They are now, in the words of Billy – ‘approaching middle age’. Things have changed. They have recognised that there was a deal of difficulty in their birth – but things have moved on. I have been overwhelmed in recent years with the sense that the Methodist Church needs simply to repent of the troubled way we coped with a new movement of the Spirit in those days, and I was very much part of that. Not in a spirit of abject guilt and wretchedness – but simply in a spirit of hope and confidence in a God who lets you move on. Pioneer and groups of similar holiness and groundedness have held for the Christian Church something of Wesley’s vision for the Nation. My own belief is that we should, where ever possible, seek ways of encouraging them, praying for them, partnering them and expressing a true humility and love. Martyn Atkins (General Secretary and my x Boss) has played a key role in the relationship and now I’m out of the scene I’m encouraged that this is something that won’t be lost in the majorly slimmed down leadership group of the Church.