Pioneers are often people who are straddling or bridging two worlds – often a particular group or subculture far off from the fringes of church – and the peculiar subculture that is the church. This is an odd calling at the best of times, requiring the ability to hold opposing truths in tension. The wider the gap gets between the two, the harder the straddling becomes and pioneers can at times find themselves unable to continue.
As times have become harder, the amount of available resources we can draw on to do our stuff has reduced as people don’t have as much spare cash as they once had, or as much free time to volunteer as they need to earn extra cash. I read today that Sanktuary in Telford is closing and won’t be offering their night time support to clubbers as they have for five years.
As belts have tightened the institutional church has also suffered and so has less support to offer what might seem like ‘nice to haves’ which may appear non-essential compared with the business of keeping the show on the road. At what point does it seem right to let something go? Is it madness to keep struggling on with what may appear unsustainable?
I guess we at the Upper Room are somewhere on this continuum. We have more opportunities than ever to get involved in the community, being offered open doors all over the place for showing and telling the Good News. But there are still only six of us who do this together, and for various reasons our own resources and capacity are constrained at this time. We really love and believe in what we do, and the way in which the Holy Spirit has taught us and shaped us to do it. The Bible says the opportunities are plentiful but the workers are few, and it seems to ring true for many where the paradigm of doing and being church is still in a Christendom minsdset.
Please pray for us.