Pioneer Ministry

Ladies praying for each other

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.

Pioneering is about firsts. Being the first to lead ministry into new places for and with others. Pioneers must be able to see a new future, and have the skills and gifts needed to make it a reality now.

Pioneers connect with people outside of Church, creating new ways of doing Church together in their community. Pioneers are leaders of innovation, with a gift for seeing what God is doing and responding creatively to it.

The Church of England has set the goal to double and double again the number of Pioneers to 6,000 by 2027. Following a motion passed at General Synod in July 2019, The Pioneer Build encourages every diocese and parish to be part of engaging in a ‘contextual approach’ by building pioneer ministry in vision, opportunity and numbers.

Stories of pioneer ministry

Lindsay Smith
Nic Findlay
Luke Aylen

What is the National Anglican Community of Pioneers?

The National Anglican Community of Pioneers supports all those who are exploring a pioneer approach to mission and ministry in the Church of England – whether that’s full time, part time, spare time, paid, unpaid, lay or ordained. Its aim is to connect and support pioneers through an online community and by regular digital and physical meet ups, often with guest speakers. It also seeks to advocate for key pioneer issues within the Anglican Church.

If you would like to find out more, email [email protected] stating whether you would like to receive information about community membership (intentionally and actively pioneering in some way) or general information.

Is God calling me to Pioneer ministry?

Your starting point is to meet with your own vicar or chaplain to talk with them about your sense of calling. They can help you with prayerful discernment.

Arrange to meet with the vocations team in your diocese about selection and training. Some dioceses have a dedicated Fresh Expressions Officer. If you don’t know which diocese your church is in, you can find out on A Church Near You.

To be designated as a pioneer, you will need to attend a pioneer selection panel. Ordained pioneers also go through the Church’s selection process for ordained ministry.

Lay pioneers are usually trained by their dioceses, whilst ordained pioneers are trained nationally. Both ordained and lay pioneers are licensed by their Bishop.