A few days ago, at the Annual Pioneer Leaders Conference 2019, Billy announced that he was stepping up into the new role of ‘Pioneer International Leader’ and that I would be taking on the role of ‘Pioneer UK Leader’. We both feel called to these respective roles and these changes reflect some key prophetic words from Alan Scott at the last Leaders Conference 2018: ‘it’s time to pioneer again’ ‘there is a restructuring of your movement’ ‘embrace this transition season and expect it to give way to expansion’.
It was actually 7 years ago when I was on a retreat, that I felt a Holy Spirit whisper that at some point, Billy would ask me to take on the leadership of Pioneer UK and I wrote it down in my journal. After a while I told my husband Rich, who unsurprisingly given his very wise and prophetic nature, simply said ‘I know’. Then, I deliberately didn’t talk about it after that, wanting to ensure nothing was humanly manufactured, but just trusting that if God was in it, others would see it too and in the right time and the right way, it would unfold. And now it feels like the right time and the right way.
Knowing both a sense of God’s call and a sense of deep preparation in me over the last 25 years, means that this development feels very natural and I sense God’s smile over this transition. I know one of my priorities to begin with, will be to listen. To listen to the church leaders we serve as a Pioneer Team and find out how we can best support Pioneer churches around the UK.
I also have a sense that this appointment will be about us as Pioneer living up to our name. To have a woman appointed as the leader of a national new church network will shake the status quo, provoke possibility thinking and create greater permission for women to lead at every level of church in Pioneer and beyond. It’s significant. I’ve already had a number of conversations with leaders outside of Pioneer who are keen to learn more about how we have created a culture that means women are genuinely leading at every level – from women planting churches to women operating apostolically.
So, we’re about to cause some ripples, which is fun…and very us!
I don’t think we’re called to be the biggest new church network, but we are called to pioneer, to make a way, to shake things up, to be a breath of fresh air, to influence and to inspire the church to a more radical way of thinking and being. That’s Pioneer. We have a unique and God given contribution to make to the wider church in the UK and we need to do that with humble confidence. I’m passionate about effective evangelism, about Pioneer churches having strong discipleship cultures so people are changing, growing and being transformed, about raising up and releasing other leaders and about establishing the culture of heaven on earth. All of those will be the focus of future blog posts…
So, Pioneer, let’s pioneer and live up to our name!