Press release: The Pioneer Collective is launched!

Monday 9th December 2013 sees the launch of the Pioneer Collective. This new initiative seeks to identify and support 400 new Baptist pioneers over the next 5 years.

400 new Baptist Pioneers

400 new Baptist Pioneers

Pioneers like Louise Frood who, after her own life-changing encounter with Jesus, wanted to share what she’d found with others:

“About 4 years ago I started making up some flasks of soup and brought some loaves of bread and would  head into the  High Street with my friend looking for people who were hungry or lonely or who would chat to me. We soon got to know the local rough sleepers and addicts and began meeting the same faces each week. This progressed into weekly hot meals, street barbeques, Christmas parties, curry evenings, under the bridge worship, a few healings, addictions broken and some of the guys coming to know Jesus!”

And like Emma Nash, an ordained Baptist minister who spends more time serving coffee than communion:

“A pioneer… is forced to consider the best way to reach a particular culture and is unlikely to be content with attractional* models of mission… I no longer see evangelism purely in terms of ‘telling’; living alongside, loving, putting faith into action are just as important… I recently became ‘Mission Development Minister’ for a church coffee shop. I spend my time serving the local community with coffee and planning fresh ways of sharing the gospel on the High Street. My heart is for people who have never been to church.”

[*NOTE: ‘Attractional’ models of mission are the sort that say ‘come to church’. Emma describes well what pioneers do: an ‘Incarnational’ model involving ‘going to, living alongside, loving, and putting faith into action.’]

The Pioneer Collective is an initiative which is about reclaiming our pioneering Baptist heritage. In 2012 we celebrated 400 years of there being a Baptist presence in Britain. As part of those celebrations we began to look ‘beyond 400’ (www.beyond400.net) and to have a conversation about the future of our mission and ministry together. The vision behind the Pioneer Collective is one outcome of those discussions:

The Pioneer Collective Vision…

400 new Baptist Pioneers:

GOING to where the church isn’t,

DOING what Jesus does and

SEEING what happens.

Over the next 5 years (2014-2019) we want to release a tribe of 400 Baptist pioneers to engage in creative and entrepreneurial mission beyond the fringe of existing congregational life in the UK, to seek the Kingdom of God in new ways, new cultures and new contexts.

Our aims are to:

●        Encourage pioneers, especially those who feel isolated, declaring that the Baptist family values them and wants them to be released into their gifting and calling.

●        Equip pioneers to make and nurture disciples where they are (not extracting them from their context).

●        Release pioneers to establish missional communities or plant new churches, when it is appropriate and relevant to do so.

In order to achieve our aims we will do the following things:

●        Provide coaches (mentors) for pioneers. There is a rich, recent history of pioneering within Baptist life in the UK. Learning from that experience is vital for individuals and groups as they begin new work in diverse communities.

●        Signpost appropriate training. There are many superb training opportunities provided by the lead partners in the Pioneer Collective, as well as many from other organisations. Our intention is to enable people to find the most appropriate training for them.

●        Enable pioneers to access the “Equipped to Pioneer” training framework. Baptists Together have enabled a framework for national recognition within the Baptist Union of Great Britain. Some of our lead partners have been involved in this. We help pioneers on the path to national recognition.

The lead partners in the Pioneer Collective are Urban Expression (www.urbanexpression.org.uk), Incarnate Network (www.incarnate-network.eu),  Light Project (www.lightproject.org.uk), and BMS World Mission (www.bmsworldmission.org).

  • Are you a pioneer?
  • Do you regularly find yourself on the edges of church life, sharing Jesus with people beyond the fringe of your church?
  • Would you benefit from thinking about what you do and why you are doing it?
  • Or maybe you want to become a pioneer for the sake of the Gospel?
  • Either way, the Pioneer Collective can help you…

For more information about the Pioneer Collective contact:

Rev. Simon Goddard

Pioneer Collective National Co-ordinator

www.pioneercollective.org.uk

 400 new Baptist pioneers:

GOING to where the church isn’t,

DOING what Jesus does and

SEEING what happens.

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