A pioneer minister is someone who has the necessary vision and gifts to be a missionary entrepreneur: with the capacity to form and lead fresh expressions and new forms of church appropriate to a particular culture. Pioneer ministers may be ordained or lay (not ordained) and different denominations and streams have ways of training and authorising pioneer ministers.
The following resources might be useful if you are thinking about pioneer ministry or just want to find out more.
Good practice for pioneers
Below, you can download a report on the experiences of pioneers, outlining some of the lessons that they have learnt through their experiences and highlighting good practice and areas for future development.
Reading suggestions for pioneers
In addition, titles from our further reading list you may find it useful to engage with are An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches and For the Parish.
VentureFX (Methodist Church)
VentureFX pioneers begin with communities of young adults. As they explore what it means to be disciples of Jesus there, new and relevant form of Christian community are beginning to emerge. They are based on pursuing a radical and authentic lifestyle rooted in the teaching of Jesus, but marked by a re-imagination of what church might need to look like for them.
Pioneering Pathways (Methodist)
The Methodist Church are developing a pathway for pioneers, with the vision to form a team of pioneers across the Connexion who are well equipped and supported in this form of mission.
Lay Pioneer Ministry (CofE)
The Church of England has produced guidelines to encourage lay pioneer ministry.
It is now possible to explore and be equipped for this lay ministry nationally as a Church Army Evangelist and locally in an increasing number of dioceses.
Nationally, the mission shaped ministry course is seen as basic training for those leading fresh expressions of church.
Ordained Pioneer Ministry (CofE)
Those training for ministry in the Church of England (or existing clergy) can put themselves forward for selection for Ordained Pioneer Ministry. You can read the Church of Englands pages for more details. There are also details of Essential Information for the Church of England which are useful as you journey through the process. Finally a number of courses and colleges offer Ordained Pioneer Ministry training.
Pioneers on Facebook
Many pioneers connect via Facebook. Some of the key groups are:
- Fresh Expressions
- Centre for Pioneer Learning
- Missional Communities, Orders and Projects Hub at CMS
- Pioneer Hub at CMS
- Church Army Pioneer Hub
- URC Pioneer Ministry