A somewhat delayed past – drafted in March after the Pioneer Leaders Conference…

Ark2It has been quite a time, these past 10 days or so.  I seem to have packed an enormous amount in and it would be say to just fly through it all and not pause to reflect on a time of enormous blessing and significance. Somehow, through means that only our maker can possibly understand, I have found myself right at the core of what will, I believe, become an extraordinary time in the life of the Church.

The Pioneer Leaders Conference 2015 has just finished. It was simply outstanding. (I know I’m running out of superlatives, but there’s more to come). We heard some truly inspirational talks from Pete Greig of 24-7 Prayer, from Alan Platt of Doxa Deo Church, from Sarah Richards (Cornerstone Church, Swansea) and from Billy Kennedy of Pioneer. I was helping run a seminar on the work of Pioneer Connexion and was interviewed on the main stage on the Saturday evening about our work.

I couldn’t begin to list the number of significant conversations that I had over the weekend with friends from all around the UK, be they Methodist, Pioneer or otherwise.

We witnessed a little bit of Pioneer Network history as a number of leaders were “commissioned” to serve the network’s Apostolic Resource Centres. This was a truly moving moment and marks something of a new chapter in how Pioneer recognises the calling of its leaders.

In the past couple of days I believe that God has been “speaking” to me through all of this – the many conversations, coincidences, talks and events – about a sense of Convergence;  a coming together of many strands. And somehow, Pioneer, in great humility, stands at the very centre.

It would be tempting to look at all of this and feel a loss of control – that events are somehow running away with us beyond our ability to regulate or even keep up with them. During the night I prayed for some scriptural guidance on this and was led, prophetically, to a passage from 1 Samuel 6.

This is the story of the return of the Ark.  The Philistines have captured it but now they are living with the consequences. There is fear and they are unsure what to do, but they know that thy have to act.  They decide to return the Ark to the Israelites.  They put the Ark in a cart and hitch it up to some cows, relying on “chance” to determine its fate – in effect, they put it in God’s hands and agree to accept the outcome.  The cows, towing the cart with the Ark, head straight for the Israelites who are overjoyed when they see it.
I think that Pioneer have a hold of something that is uncontainable. There may be a tendency to feel overawed by what is happening and that it is outside of our control.  This converging is His will and we need to put it in God’s hands and accept the outcome without fear.

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