Five Tips for pioneers 2: Hang Out.

friends sticomLast week I posted my five tips for new pioneers, which has come out of our first five years working here. Here they are in short:

  1. Pray a lot.
  2. Hang Out.
  3. Find a team and form alliances.
  4. Make a five year plan don’t expect to stick to it.
  5. Expect opposition.

2 Time hanging out with people (doing nothing in particular) is not time wasted. 

When we arrived here we didn’t know anyone, and I didn’t have anything in my diary apart from a few clergy meetings here and there. Where to start? The obvious thing we needed to do was to get to know some people. So we joined the groups and associations that were already running on the development, and we were intentional about getting to know others (for example, by hanging out in public spaces, and by following up initial meetings with an invitation to coffee or dinner or something), and we formed groups where people of like interests could join together.

During the first 12 months, we didn’t start anything ‘churchy’, but just sent time hanging out. I spent quite a lot of time playing at the playpark making conversation, or simply walking around or sitting in the coffee shop once it opened, getting to know people. What we found is that none of those relationships were wasted. When we did start groups, people came and we’re willing to join in, because they already knew us. And when we started worship, a few people joined us too. Others, who may not have joined us in anything, got back in touch when they wanted a wedding or baptism or something like that, and this gave us the opportunity to rekindle the relationship.

We’ve learnt that nothing happens without good relationships. Nothing was wasted and that time gave us a decent standing in the community and a good starting point with many.

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