You may have heard about Pioneers, you might not be sure what pioneering is about or maybe you are wondering if you might be a Pioneer.
It could be you are asking what you could do to help the people around you in your street, at work, in your community, and lots of other places connect with God and find answers to their spiritual concerns and questions.
Now imagine that across your country thousands of people have asked the same questions but are able to do something about it. Imagine that we could learn from all these experiments and then discern some principles to help you do this.
The great news is that this is happening right now. It is estimated that there are over two thousand of these experiments happening now in the Church of England and many more in other countries, denominations and streams. Often these are called ‘fresh expressions of church’ and they are happening everywhere. Most of the major denominations are using the language of fresh expressions and define it as , ‘ A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church.’ For more information www.freshexpressions.org.uk
Essentially these new communities are
1. Mission centred - They aim primarily to focus on and connect with those outside the Church.
2. Adapting to the Context- The newly emerging community is shaped with and for the people you are connecting with.
3. Forming disciples- The aim is not to get people to attend events but to enable people to discover and follow Jesus together.
4. Creating Jesus centred communities. They are not bridges to existing church but they create church in the midst of people lives.
The exact terminology you might use doesn’t really matter. What is crucial is that the people leading such things started by asking that simple question, But what can I do?
Most people leading these, lay or clergy leaders have never done anything like this before. But they are discovering they can do. There are some simple principles to follow which experience has shown works in a huge range of situations. This is often about small groups of people, anywhere between four and forty who come together to connect with each other and God in a myriad of creative ways that does not require lots of resources