Vocations to Pioneer Ministry

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.
Ladies praying for each other

What do pioneers do?

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.


Fresh Start Pioneers

Classic pioneering types who start new things, love firsts, and enjoy the blank canvas.

Released from the expectations of classic parish roles, they are able to minister in places where the Church is not present.


Parish Based Pioneers

Pioneers who work from a parish base but from there develop new ways of doing things, expanding the growth and reach of the local Church.

Pioneering is the main focus of their ministry and most of their time is spent with people outside the Church.

Testimony: Nic Findlay
What skills do I need?

Do you believe God is calling you to serve as a pioneer minister?

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.

Some pioneers are ordained but most are lay. All have a track record of innovation.

Arrange to meet with the vocations team in your diocese about selection and training. Some dioceses have a dedicated Fresh Expressions Officer.

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.

It is important you continually pray about your vocation through the whole discernment process.