The Pioneer Collective
A five year initiative with the vision to identify, release and resource 400 new Baptist pioneers
Our society is changing fast, and in a post-Christendom culture 93% of the UK population do not regularly go to church. Many of these struggle to connect with established forms of church, but thankfully God is raising up pioneers who are taking on this missional challenge and imaginatively sharing the good news of Jesus. As a result new expressions of Christian community are emerging and existing congregations are experiencing renewal.
The partners involved in helping to fulfil the Pioneer Collective vision include:
Baptist Union of Great Britain
BMS World Mission
Since January 2014 we have been working with the Associations to identify some of these new pioneers. We have been gathering their stories on the website as an inspiration to others, and have been finding more-established pioneers to be a ‘coach’ for them on their pioneering journeys. These new pioneers include accredited ministers sensing a call to do something different and church members being prompted to go and begin something new.
What they have in common, however, is the willingness to take risks and to be sent beyond the fringe of the church to advance the Kingdom in new and creative ways. They seek to follow the incarnational example of Jesus, and some of them have even ‘moved into the neighbourhood’ (see John 1:14 in The Message paraphrase). They have sowed seeds of the gospel by being willing to lovingly give time and energy to the people that they meet; and they nurture Christian communities that are relevant to the people whose lives are being transformed by the living God.
The Pioneer Collective is providing opportunities for pioneers to gather together for mutual support, for example at the recent Fresh Streams conference. We are also finding placements for those wanting to test the call and experience a pioneering context first hand and helping pioneers to access appropriate training opportunities. One of these is the Equipped to Pioneer
course which leads to national recognition as a Baptist pioneer and is made up of modules provided by Crucible and the Baptist Colleges.
The Pioneer Collective has also facilitated a partnership with Fresh Expressions to deliver the successful Mission Shaped Ministry course in an online format. This is designed for groups in churches who want to explore together how to begin something pioneering in their own context. The aim is for it to feel a bit like a small group study, but instead of using a DVD the training is delivered live and interactive over the internet. It is hoped a pilot course will start in September 2015, and more details about MSM Online can be found on our website.
This has all been made possible by Home Mission who made a grant, alongside BMS, to support the contribution to the Pioneer Collective being made by Chris Duffett from the Light Project. The Eastern Baptist Association, also funded by Home Mission, has generously allowed Simon Goddard, one of their regional ministers, to co-ordinate the work of the Pioneer Collective.
Maybe you have recently begun to pioneer, or perhaps you are sensing a call to serve God in this way? Whatever stage you are at in the pioneering journey we invite you to contact us and share your story.
The Pioneer Collective
Coordinator, Eastern Baptist Association
0845 475 4003
Give thanks for the funding which has enabled the launch of this exciting initiative
That people in our Union who may be sensing a call to serve God in this way will have the courage to test this calling
For Simon, Chris and other experienced pioneers as they support, encourage and equip each other
Give thanks for the new expressions of Christian community which are emerging and the renewal being found in existing congregations
Click here for a printable Fact File about the Pioneer Collective
to share with your church.
Click here to read more stories about how the money you give to Home Mission is being used to bring the love of God to communities around the country.