Posted 25 September 2022

How Dare You Call My Kid a Pioneer?!…What is that?

By Lizzie Young

Pioneering is a tricky word… 

The definition of a Pioneer is this: 

(Noun): A person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area. 

(Verb): To develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge, or activity). 

When you’re in the “church-world”, it generally lands on those who move countries, launch campuses, embark into new lands and territories. Typically celebrated by most, those who are doing the pioneering are most likely being cheered on by the new people they are encountering and the ones they are leaving behind. 

Not often do we think of the word in the context of children, or in the area of education; but the reality is that the life of a Pioneer is within both. 

No matter what country you live in, what culture you’re from, or what stage of life you are in, throughout the pandemic of 2020 we all experienced a new level of Pioneering – learning to adapt to a new way of living. Not only us as adults, but our kids did too! And you know what we learnt? We learnt that kids are adaptable! We learnt (at least I did), that they could handle change better than I could at the time! They are flexible; they can endure challenging situations, and they can survive without all their questions being answered… 

I learnt that kids are Pioneers. They survived a lot of “first’s” throughout the pandemic. And they’ll survive a lot of First’s throughout life! You might be wondering whether your child can handle the huge jump from mainstream school to a whole new system and way of learning that comes with online schooling… You might be hesitant to make that decision when it all looks so new and unchartered. You might prefer to wait and see what it all turns out to look like before taking such a big plunge… All valid and logical reasonings. 

But here is what I see…  

I see that many are happy to follow the established path, with all its twists and turns, dead ends and potholes along the way. Yes, it is established. Yes, it is certain. People will follow this path willingly and with more confidence than the alternative. The alternative, though far less travelled, is one where the road is not yet marked out for them. The one where you need to hold a lamp, and read the roadmap closely. The one where perhaps you yourself are laying some of the bricks you’re about to step on. But this road – because of the Light that guides you – is the one that will see greater fruit as a result.  

To quote a famous poet, the road less travelled is the one that makes all the difference.

Can I just encourage you, and suggest that maybe your child isn’t called to fit into the mould, but to create one. Maybe, your child has been grafted into a season of “first’s”, and is equipped with all the bravery required of a Pioneering spirit to walk into something new, and for it to not only change their world, but for them to change the world for others as well. 

Maybe, just maybe, your child is a Pioneer! 

I can’t wait to see the big reveal of what these world-changers are going to do, and what this pioneer-life will instill in their lives!

What an incredible journey, and what a privilege it is to see it unfold.