Your basket
Your basket
0 items - £0.00

Personal tools

Home News A pioneering pathway

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

A pioneering pathway

by Michael Ford last modified 11 Sep, 2021 02:04 AM

Much pioneering ministry goes on at a local level, often quietly except for those directly involved, and by its very nature is mapping new territory. So how can we train others in this way of being and doing?

The Revd Paul Bradbury and team have been working in the Poole area since the late 2000s to support local residents and businesses, build Christian community, and make disciples.

This week, there is exciting news.

Paul says:

“Through the pandemic we have experienced how we can adapt fruitfully to the challenges thrown up by a very new context. Who could have imagined that we would have been able to reimagine our church life so radically in so short a timeframe?

“Indeed, the Church has always adapted and changed as the environment around it has changed. At the forefront of that process has been entrepreneurial and creative leaders like St Francis, Nicholas Ferrar, and John Wesley who have faithfully reimagined the church for their time.

“Today is no different. Our society is changing rapidly. And whilst inherited church forms have a key role to play in the future of our mission and ministry, we need to experiment and explore how we can faithfully express the church in new ways for a variety of contexts.

“The national Church of England has expressed this by calling for a ‘mixed ecology of church’ as the norm in the future. This will mean a whole range of different expressions of church, held together in relationship through the parish structures, working together for the Kingdom in a given place.

“A key part of enabling a mixed ecology of church will be the training and releasing of those entrepreneurial leaders for our day. Pioneer ministers feel called to those contexts where the church has little or no engagement. There they seek to build community, make disciples and explore the emergence of a new worshipping community.

“We are really excited therefore that we will be starting a new pathway to train lay pioneer leaders. In partnership with both Church Mission Society and the Diocese of Bath & Wells.

“We will be running the CMS Certificate in Pioneer Ministry from February to November 2022. This will also form the pathway to being recognised as a Commissioned Lay Pioneer in the Diocese.

“The course involves 6 weekend modules exploring the key themes of pioneer ministry:

  • What is pioneer mission?
  • The Bible in context
  • Doing theology
  • Mission spirituality
  • Mission ecclesiology
  • Pioneering in the rural church 

“In between each module, participants will also meet in groups to support one another and discuss how what they are learning applies to their own context.

“The CMS certificate is more than a course, though – it’s a supportive learning community for lay pioneers, from those already pioneering to others who are wanting to develop their call to this ministry.

“Bath & Wells Diocese has run two cohorts on this course already. Lindsay, who has completed the course said of her experience:

It’s been such a valuable experience to look at mission in the local context. To take the written words out of the textbooks and apply that learning to the place that I live. It’s opened my eyes to what’s unseen in my community, challenging my understanding of what it means to live on the margins of society.  Learning about mission in a creative and inclusive way supported by like-minded people has been an amazing experience.””

The Salisbury cohort of the course will be led by the Revd Paul Bradbury, supported by Diocesan Mission Co-ordinator Steve Inglis and the Revd Sally Taylor.

Paul adds:

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of the theology and practice of pioneering and for anyone expressing a call to pioneer ministry.”

For further details on the course, you can download the brochure here or email Sally Taylor.

Document Actions