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
Find out more here – Joining Pioneer Booklet
A church will identify as Pioneer, using the Pioneer identity, if the following is true:
1. They embrace our vision and values
2. 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 regular gatherings. We host a number of Regional Leaders Gatherings each year, as well as our Annual Leaders Conference and occasional one-off days for prayer or teaching.
- connection to a Pioneer link-person through a Pioneer Region. As a guideline we would suggest that there is a connection with the link-person at least three times a year.
3. 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 hub and individual church.
Any involvement in a local church will be based on relationship and operate only by invitation from an individual church.
4. 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.
5. There is strategic alignment
Joining Pioneer is a commitment to align strategically with others in the vision to see our nation evangelised and the Kingdom of God expressed in every sphere of society and culture.
Pioneer has set out three strategic priorities:
- Regions are established, with every Pioneer church belonging to a region for connection, inspiration and equipping. Seeing breakthrough.
- Raising up apprentice leaders in church and leaders to shape society.
- Effective evangelism and innovative church planting.
We would expect Pioneer churches to be aligned with these priorities and seek to work with other Pioneer churches and ministries to see them established across the network.
6. 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.
Although Pioneer carries no legal or fiscal responsibility for individual churches, we would want to satisfy ourselves that sound governance and accounting procedures, and up-to-date safeguarding policies and training are in place. This will take the form of an annual review.