We Call Them Home Missionaries…

But the Brits call them ‘Pioneering Ministers‘.

Leeds is making an interesting name for itself in religious circles by appointing ‘Pioneering Ministers’ to a range of communities which the Anglican diocese sees as today’s equivalents of the traditional parish.  We’ve already got Rev Rob Hinton pioneering away in the Business Community – a post created in 2009 – and Rev James Barnett has been doing the same in New Communities since last year.  Now Pastor Beth Tash takes on the most eye-catching job yet, as Pioneering Minister to the Night Time Economy. She’ll be commissioned on Wednesday evening, 7 September, appropriately as twilight gathers over the hotspots in The Calls, Lower Briggate and elsewhere.

It’s a bit odd that a lot of fuss is being made of a missionary going to work in a district of the city which needs outreach.  It’s almost as though the very concept of missions or lived evangelism is new.  Alas, it’s as old as Christianity itself.  It’s as old as the theologian of the Gospel of Matthew.  It’s just the modern application of the ancient admonition, ‘as you go, then, make disciples’.

Leeds gets its first church minister in downtown outreach?  Really?  Its first?  What’s the church there been doing all these years?  What have the Christians there been doing?    Have the Anglicans JUST NOW discovered Matthew 28?

4 responses to “We Call Them Home Missionaries…

  1. I work for an Anglican church , although not as a ‘pioneer minister’. Evangelism is not a new thing as you say however, and I speak from experience here, that pioneer mission is very controversial particularly in the Anglo-catholic circles. In fact there are books written against it as it is seen as destroying the unique historical witness the church has had in the UK particularly. Unfortunatley, that means a big deal has to be made of something that has/ should have been happening all along.