A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Pioneering

All must participate (in pioneering), however humble their origin, however limited their experience, however restricted their means, however deficient their education, however pressing their cares and preoccupations, however unfavorable the environment in which they live … how often … have the lowliest adherents of the Faith, unschooled and utterly inexperienced, and with no standing whatever, and in some cases devoid of intelligence, been capable of winning victories for their Cause, before which the most brilliant achievements of the learned, the wise, and the experienced have paled.
(Shoghi Effendi, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 20)



Although in recent years an increasing proportion of pioneers are serving on the home front, it is our hope that the friends will continue to consider entering the international arena, whenever their circumstances allow. Opportunity is, of course, open to any believer to arise and settle where he or she can contribute to the progress of the Plan, yet in some countries the need for international pioneers is particularly pressing. In this regard, as anticipated in the last pioneer call, throughout the previous Five Year Plan we drew the attention of selected National Spiritual Assemblies to specific pioneering needs that arose in relation to ten special initiatives that were launched to support the growth and development of the Faith in certain regions with the help of friends from several countries. These devoted servants of Bahá’u’lláh, working alongside the local friends, have helped to strengthen the roots of the Cause in all the countries covered by these initiatives, bringing greater dynamism to the institute process and local community life and, in a number of instances, aiding in the emergence of institutions. Over the coming five years, the International Teaching Centre will continue to identify areas that would benefit from such endeavours with the expectation that, as a result, by the end of the Plan there will be at least one well-advanced intensive programme of growth in every country in the world where external conditions allow for such a development.
(Universal House of Justice, to the Bahá’ís of the World, 23 May 2016)


Bahá’u’lláh Himself has not only enjoined on every one the duty of teaching His Faith, but stated if you cannot go yourself, to send someone in your stead.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 588.


Bahá’u’lláh Himself testifies: ‘They that have forsaken their country in the path of God and subsequently ascended unto His presence, such souls shall be blessed by the Concourse on High and their names recorded by the Pen of Glory among such as have laid down their lives as martyrs in the path of God, the Help in Peril, the Self Subsistent.
(Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973, p. 102)


Beyond responding to the specific appeals for homefront and international pioneers that are issued from time to time by the institutions, the friends are of course welcome to arise at any time and from any place to settle in any area where they feel they can best contribute to the advancement of the Cause. Even so, their endeavours would yield greater effect if, drawing on the advice of institutions, they were to direct their efforts to clusters--indeed, villages and neighbourhoods within clusters--that are the focus of systematic attention. It is our ardent hope that the believers will arise rank upon rank, with a clarity of vision born of experience and with complete reliance on the confirmations of God, to offer His life-giving Message to every eager soul, to every receptive population. Our prayers at the Sacred Threshold will accompany them as they strive to seize the abundant opportunities now opening before them.
(Universal House of Justice, 23 May 2011, to the Bahá’ís of the World)


In the Books of old the station of them that have voyaged far and near in order to guide the servants of God hath been set forth and written down. “I swear by God! So great are the things ordained for the steadfast that were they, so much as the eye of a needle, to be disclosed, all who are in heaven and on earth would be dumbfounded.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 84)


It behoveth whosoever willeth to journey for the sake of God, and whose intention is to proclaim His Word and quicken the dead, to bathe himself with the waters of detachment, and to adorn his temple with the ornaments of resignation and submission. Let trust in God be his shield, and reliance on God his provision, and the fear of God his raiment. Let patience be his helper, and praiseworthy conduct his succorer, and goodly deeds his army. Then will the concourse on high sustain him. Then will the denizens of the Kingdom of Names march forth with him, and the banners of Divine guidance and inspiration be unfurled on his right hand and before him.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Messages to America, p. 25)


National Spiritual Assemblies, in close collaboration with Continental Counsellors and Continental Pioneering Committees, will continue to play a crucial role in expanding the awareness of the believers about the critical needs of the Cause and in assisting with the settlement of pioneers in designated clusters. They will not, however, be asked to establish numerical goals at the outset, as was the practice in the past, for those to be dispatched beyond their borders during the coming five years. Rather, we will regularly call the attention of selected National Assemblies in different parts of the world to specific urgent pioneer needs, identified by the International Teaching Centre in the course of its ongoing endeavours to follow the progress of the Faith around the globe. It is hoped that National Assemblies will then be able to quickly send pioneers who respond to that particular appeal. In this regard, a promising pattern is developing in certain regions whereby believers arise to serve in a neighbouring country or in one that is further afield but within the same continent. This development brings with it the advantage of a more intimate familiarity with the culture and language of the country
in which they settle, thereby increasing their effectiveness and the efficiency with which their services can be utilized.
(Universal House of Justice, 23 May 2011, to the Bahá’ís of the World)


Pioneer service in these epoch-making days need not be confined to going out to foreign fields. The friends can pioneer in their assemblies in helping to bring about a keener vision of what their duties are; they can pioneer in developing new local teaching methods, new contacts with new classes of people. Indeed they can even be said to pioneer inwardly in finding new depths in their own souls and new ways in which their own God-given capacities can be put to use in serving the Faith.
(Shoghi Effendi, Pioneering, a compilation)


Teachers must continually travel to all parts of the continent, nay, rather, to all parts of the world, but they must travel like ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who journeyed throughout the cities of America. He was sanctified and free from every attachment and in the utmost severance. Just as His Holiness Christ says: “Shake off the very dust from your feet.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 426)


The Guardian is well aware of the great sacrifices required of the devoted pioneers, and of the problems they must meet and conquer. This is why he feels that the work of the pioneers is the most important Bahá’í task any individual can perform today—more important than serving on a National Assembly, or any administrative post. While it carries great responsibilities; and difficulties; yet its spiritual blessings are so great, they overshadow everything else; and the opportunities for special victories of the Faith so abundant; the soul who once tastes the elixir of pioneering service, seldom will do anything else.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 578)


The beloved Guardian says every pioneer who is going out of his community for pioneering is not only inspiring and useful to his future post but is also going to be a source of help and inspiration in his own community.
(Universal House of Justice, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 109-110)


The bounty of God will come to every community that is sending a pioneer.
(Universal House of Justice, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 109-110)


The duties of teaching and pioneering are enjoined upon all believers. There are no special categories of believers for these functions. Any Bahá’í who spreads the Message of Bahá’u’lláh is a teacher, any Bahá’í who moves to another area to spread the Faith is a pioneer.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 572)


The most meritorious service which anyone could render is to bring the light of divine guidance and the quickening power of the spirit to an entirely new area. Humanity is crying for salvation and it is only by the Bahá’ís going into the various areas of the world, that it can be brought to them. This is the reason the Guardian has encouraged all of the friends to disperse to new territories, for this is the hour for the quickening of the world.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Individual and Teaching , p. 35)


The movement itself from place to place, when undertaken for the sake of God, hath always exerted, and can now exert, its influence in the world.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 84)


The pioneer work is always the most difficult and entails the greatest sacrifice.
( Shoghi Effendi, Japan Will Turn Ablaze, p. 59)


The results of the sacrifices of all these people are manifested now. Therefore, those who have been for five or ten years in some place should never complain. These results are of eighty years’ work—yes, ninety years, and suffering. Work day and night in such time and the harvest will be ready. Bahá’u’lláh has definitely said clearly to the friends: ‘Your function is to sow the seeds. God will either let them grow or will bury them.’ It is yours to stand at your post and sow the seed. The greatest requirement for this progress is patience. Patience is the thing which is described in the Qur‘án as having rewards unlimited...please have patience, God will work through you, even if it is not in your lifetime—the lifetime of generations after you. All services will be rewarded. Be sure! Rest assured and stay in your places of pioneering. Serve and be steadfast in the path of God at the post given you during the time of the beloved Guardian.... If it was easy, anybody could do it. Therefore you who are brave, accept this post; show your bravery to the end of your life. Let us not think of our unworthiness in the path of service, beloved friends.
(Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Faizi at the closing session of the World Congress, May 2, 1963, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 108)


The teachers traveling in different directions must know the language of the country in which they will enter. For example, a person being proficient in the Japanese language may travel in Japan, or a person knowing the Chinese language may hasten to China, and so forth.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Section, p. 428)


There must needs be some tremendous force to upraise the standard of eternal friendship between nations and this force must come through self-sacrifice and universal service.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 179)


They asked the Guardian, ‘Which is (most) important?’ And the beloved Guardian said, ‘First, pioneering in virgin areas. Second, pioneering in consolidation areas. Third, pioneering in home front areas, and fourth, teach wherever you reside.’ So the aim of our life is pioneering and teaching, but if you want to know which one is first, and which one you should forget, and leave the important for the most important, it is just pioneering as far as possible. The farther, the better. The sooner, the better...this is really the time of harvest of the souls of the people. Because through all the efforts—we can call it a hundred years of efforts; through the Dawnbreakers, through the martyrs, through the pioneers and administrators—now the world is ready to come to the Faith. The people are ready and receptive, and it all depends on the Bahá’ís and pioneers who have to go and harvest the Faith.
(Universal House of Justice, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 109-110)


They that have forsaken their country for the purpose of teaching Our Cause—these shall the Faithful Spirit strengthen through its power… . By My life! No act, however great, can compare with it, except such deeds as have been ordained by God, the All-Powerful, the Most Mighty. Such a service is indeed the prince of all goodly deeds, and the ornament of every goodly act.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Advent of Divine Justice, pp. 67-68)


When once a few bold, self-sacrificing individuals have arisen to serve, their example will no doubt encourage other timid, would-be pioneers to follow in their footsteps. The history of our Faith is full of records of the remarkable things achieved by really very simple, insignificant individuals, who became veritable beacons and towers of strength through having placed their trust in God, having arisen to proclaim His Message....
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations, vol II, p. 222)


Your present pioneer work will surely be remembered and extolled by future generations.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 532)


… he feels there is no service in the entire Bahá’í World as important as their pioneering work in the virgin areas. They have achieved a great station of service.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 580)


The movement itself from place to place, when undertaken for the sake of God, hath always exerted, and can now exert, its influence in the world.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 84)


… you are the pioneers of a Work that will endure and supersede all the other achievements, however meritorious and brilliant …
(Shoghi Effendi, Japan Will Turn Ablaze, p. 75)