What does it mean to be a pioneer?
Jesus is the ultimate pioneer, and if all ministry is participating in Jesus’ ministry, then by virtue of this all ministry should be pioneering, as well as able to embrace and champion those with a specific pioneer charism.
Pioneers throughout Church history have been, and are, ordinary people who have said ‘yes’ to God’s call and become trailblazers, innovators, prophets, visionaries, explorers of new frontiers. They are creators of new space, who inspire and lead others to join them in that space.
They are called to use the gravitas of ancient practices and traditions in fresh ways for today.
Pioneers are called by the Spirit to innovate, revitalise, refresh, stir up the waters, and to encourage.
They create cultures of positivity, enquiry and adventure.
‘Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us.’
2 Corinthians 4
St Padarn’s supports the development and training of Pioneer Ministry within the Church in Wales in a number of ways:
As well as training, St Padarn’s has a key role in supporting Pioneers throughout their ministry. Through organising Pioneer Ministry conferences, we offer opportunities for networking, sharing stories and ongoing development for Pioneers. Most of all, these provide Pioneers with a chance to be with others who think in a similar way and who may be exploring similar issues. There is a growing community of Pioneers within the Church in Wales, so supporting and resourcing this network is key, and developing the area of work. As well as supporting the Pioneers themselves, we organise opportunities for members of Diocesan teams to gather to learn about and discuss Pioneer Ministry, and to think about how to support this form of ministry. Through conferences and events, St Padarn’s plays a key role in raising awareness of Pioneer Ministry and in the development of a Pioneering culture within the Church in Wales.
Here's a snapshot of some of the things to join in and look out for:
The Church in Wales Pioneer Community Facebook Page
This is one of the main platforms through which we pray, gather, network, share stories, enjoy coaching, encourage each other, and keep up to speed with forthcoming events.
Pioneer Forums every other month
These are online (Zoom). They are advertised via on Church in Wales Pioneer Community Facebook page. They are a chance to pray, worship, listen to God, share stories of what God is doing, enjoy guest speakers, network, share and workshop ideas, receive updates about events, laugh, vision, encourage and support.
Our Roadshows are a new idea. We’re planning to start them in early 2023. They will go all over the Country. Keep an eye open for details on our Facebook Page
These will start in 2023. We’re planning to have a number of pilgrimages each year and for the locations to be spread across the Country.
We’re in conversation about the next Pioneer Conference. Things are going extremely well and details will be announced once they have been confirmed.
There are a number of other things in the pipeline. So exciting. Details to follow.
Training for Pioneer Ministry
St Padarn’s offers a Pioneer training that delivers specialist training for those going forward as Ordained Pioneer Ministers and Lay Licensed Pioneers. This training covers the core skills needed for this particular type of ministry, from listening to communities through to developing new forms of church. The Pioneer training includes input from Pioneer practitioners and thinkers both from within Wales and the wider UK and is a space for development of theological reflection and innovative thinking and practice.
To give encouragement and equip people to develop new worshipping communities within their Parishes and Ministry Areas. In this course we will journey together to consider some of the core items to focus on when we are called to start a new worshipping community As part of this you are asked to bring an idea (very early stages) for a new worshipping community, be it actual or theoretical, and through the week we will develop it in conversation with the Course material and your fellow candidates for ministry. A lot of the principles we will cover in this course will be transferable to other pioneering projects and creative initiatives.
Here's a snapshot of a some of the training:
Theology and Practice of Ministry, Summer School: Church Planting Course
Session 1: Introduction
Session 2: Resources, Budget and Change Management
Session 3: Leadership and Vision
Session 4: Discipleship and Evangelism (Culture)
Session 5: Communication, Social Media and Branding
Theology and Practice of Ministry Residential 1 (Autumn)
Session 1: The Pioneering Charism
Session 2: Engaging with culture
Session 2: Pioneering where we are
Theology and Practice of Ministry Residential 2 (Winter)
Session 1: Creating a culture of pioneering
Session 2: Pioneering in the desert
Session 3: Pioneer Panel
Theology and Practice of Ministry Residential 3 (Spring)
Session 1: Ecclesiology, Revival and Renewals
Session 2: Spirituality and Pioneering
Session 3: Practical Skills (Digital)
Pioneer Training for all
As well as training Pioneer specialists, at St Padarn’s we are passionate about offering training in Pioneering to all of our students. This is delivered through two mission modules that are part of the core curriculum, for all trainees. These modules are aimed at equipping everyone going forwards for ministry in the Church in Wales, to understand Pioneer Ministry and how to develop a Mixed Economy of church in their Ministry Areas.
Introducing Christian Mission (Level 4)
Exploring Missional Church (Level 5)