It is absolutely essential that you understand what and who a Pioneer is. At the heart of this term Pioneer is the idea of firsts and of leading into a new space for and with others. (Of course ‘first’ will mostly be relative, not being the first ever to do something but the first to do it in that particular area, context or situation.) It combines well the ability to see a new future but also the skills and gifts to make the future accessible now. There is a danger of making a too tight and simplistic definition of Pioneers but our present situation requires a clear sense of what we mean by this word. The suggested working definition is therefore;
Pioneers are people called by God who are the first to see and creatively respond to the Holy Spirit’s initiatives with those outside the church; gathering others around them as they seek to establish new contextual Christian community.
The use of the word the word ‘People’ is deliberate so it can refer to an individual or a small Pioneer team. It is also important to understand that the term Pioneer includes a wide spectrum of people who are not identikits in terms of gifting or personality. (For more on this subject see New to Pioneering)
Various key downloadable documents are available on Pioneer Ministry.
Guideline for the Pioneer Assessment Panel. (not produced yet )
Criteria for pioneer ministry: this is a document outlining the criteria against which people are assessed for pioneer ministry - lay or ordained for the Pioneer Assessment Panel.
Lay pioneering: Guidelines for the development of lay ministry in fresh expressions of church
Ordained Pioneer Ministry. Guidelines for the identification, training and deployment of Ordained Pioneer Ministers.
For ordained pioneer ministry in the Church of England here is a list of courses available
More information for those considering pioneering can be found at http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/pioneerministry