Why Join Pioneer?

There are a variety of reasons that a church may wish to join Pioneer:

They are a newly planted community looking for a wider context of belonging where they can find advice, support and be accountable.

They are a more established church finding a deep resonance with Pioneer’s vision and values.

They are an individual or group of people with a heart to plant a new church in a particular community, town or city.

Pioneer churches vary greatly in how they look but are held together firstly through relationship, and with a commitment to a common vision and set of values.
Find out more about joining the Pioneer family by looking through our Joining Pioneer booklet.

What defines a Pioneer church?

A church will identify as Pioneer, using the Pioneer identity, if the following is true:

They embrace our vision and values

There is a relational connection

As well as a commitment strategically, it is also a commitment to become part of the Pioneer family. Practically, this is worked out in the following ways:

  • Attendance at key gathering points across the year. The most important of which is your leadership team coming to our Annual Leaders Conference and then there are the 2 day Pioneer CORE training modules every May and November which we highly recommend your leadership team attends.
  • Connection to a Pioneer link-person through your Pioneer Region. As a guideline we would suggest that there is a connection with the link-person at least three times a year. Your Region will also hold a number of gatherings throughout the year to support and equip leaders which are important times to build friendship with other leaders and churches in your Region.

There is recognition of ministry

We believe in the importance of apostolic ministry for the fulfilment of God’s purpose and mission. The role of the Pioneer link-person would be to offer:

  • Strategic input at key times in the life of the church, e.g. leadership transition, establishing vision, setting strategy, recognising new leaders, etc.
  • Individual leadership support – input, equipping and training.
  • Accountability – a safety net for churches and teams as we seek to lead safely and responsibly. We want to ensure that there is clarity of accountability and support for each church.

Any involvement in a local church will be based on relationship and operate only by invitation from an individual church. We believe the apostolic gift is to be invited and not imposed.

There is sharing of resources

A Pioneer church will have access to Pioneer resources, ministries, conferences and training.

Ministry Leads can connect with others who are leading in the same ministry areas. We currently have ministry connection forums for: Youth Leaders, Children & Families Workers, Worship Leaders, Evangelists and Pioneer RISE (leaders in their 20s and 30s). We also provide free safeguarding webinars on a regular basis focused on different safeguarding areas. The events page provides all the information you need on our ministry connection forums and our safeguarding webinars.

Pioneer has a number of key partnerships and is represented on a number of national bodies and forums. We are members of the Evangelical Alliance, Churches Together in England, the New Churches Parliamentary Liaison Group, Fusion Council of Reference, and Partners for Influence. As a Pioneer church there is, therefore, representation in each of these forums, as well as access to key partners with whom we work.

Practically speaking

Pioneer churches are asked to make a regular financial contribution to Pioneer.

We don’t want finances to be a reason a church cannot access resources within the Pioneer network, but we have decided that some guidelines for giving would be helpful as we seek to share responsibility together for the unfolding of God’s purposes for our nation. With that in mind, we recommend churches give 3% of their church’s income as a starting point.

Although Pioneer carries no legal or fiscal responsibility for individual churches, we would want to satisfy ourselves that sound governance and up-to-date safeguarding policies and training are in place. When a church has been through the process of discernment and both Pioneer and the individual church feel that Pioneer is a good fit, we have a governance checklist and safeguarding checklist which we ask churches to fill in before they officially join. Once a church is part of Pioneer we would ask them to complete the bi-annual safeguarding review we send out, which allows any areas of development to be highlighted for the church to address.