Revd Ian Greig – working with people of any church or none in the Weobley area of Herefordshire
Welcome to my Pioneer Missioner page
I live in Weobley, mid-Herefordshire and travel all over Herefordshire but with a focus on the community around the various churches in Weobley and surrounding villages. I am an accredited Baptist minister and I work in partnership with a number of other ministers with a non-denominational stance.
What is a Pioneer Missioner?
My focus is non-denominational, with the emphasis on...
- outside church buildings more than than within them
- people more than than processes
- relationships more than than religious constraints or duties.
- pioneering what God is leading now, rather than maintaining what exists.
As a Pioneer Minister, my picture of 'church' is bigger than any building or service or denomination. In the 21st century postmodern culture, belonging to organisations is resisted across the board and informality is valued. So to be relevant to new people, the church as a whole has to find new and different ways of gathering, worshipping and reaching the very many who are drawn to God "but are not religious". Jesus' final commission to "go and make disciples" of all sorts of people remains; it started in Jerusalem and Judea and quickly had to change to accommodate different people groups, lands and languages, which we read about the in the New Testament letters. How much more we need to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying and how He is leading, today.
For me this is likely to look like:
- starting neighbourhood Bible studies with common content linked to the existing Sunday services in all the churches
- fresh expressions of church, gathering in the way people already do, in the friendly and informal ways seen in the cafés and homes of every town and village
- being a community pastor, available to people as a prayerful friend and spiritual shepherd, in good times and being there when life is more difficult
- Working up more informal gatherings, which could be in existing church buildings, as "fresh expressions", additional to other services, intentionally drawing people from every Christian church affiliation and none, and from every age and stage in life.
- contributing to the vision and purpose and renewal of the existing churches and Christian organisations, working with church leaders and others and seeking to find the collaboration and common intention under God.
I work with people with affiliations to any of the Christian denominations – and seek out the many who acknowledge some faith in God but for whom formal church doesn't work and doesn't attract.
I publish an innovative Bible study called The Living Word (TLW) which is based on the passages set for each Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary. This set of readings is used, with occasional variations, across the board from Roman Catholic, Anglican and Methodist and all our churches in the villages are familiar with it. The idea of TLW is to encourage people to enjoy reading the Bible for themselves, day by day, and hearing God speak through His word. TLW presents the Sunday Bible readings set out as a Bible study with verses and accessible commentary woven together. Through the Old Testament, Gospel and Epistle a message emerges as the common author, the Holy Spirit, speaks and reveals – that's the way the Bible works. This preparation and reflection, and the background the preacher hasn't time to include in their short sermon slot, doesn't replace the sermon on the Sunday but rather offers a framework and a theme to enable hearers to get much more from it. TLW is available online with easy links to the Bible references, at http://thelivingword.uk and local subscribers get a printed copy free.
I also write on other Christian topics, particularly the challenge of 'walking with Jesus' and considering 'what would Jesus do' – the thrust of my blog posts at http://follow-the-way.com