Pioneer Centres are centres of innovation and good practice which can offer hospitality, advice and inspiration to those wanting to find out more about contextual church planting. Some will intentionally be developed as strategic hubs for creating support and learning communities.
In a relatively new field like pioneering fresh expressions of church, one of the most helpful ways to learn and gain encouragement in any developing situation is to connect with or visit somewhere that has made significant progress. This practice has already proved transformative for many who have visited a place or project similar to the calling they are exploring but which is some steps further on. So in identifying Local Pioneer centres we are merely building on what we and others have already been doing informally with the intent to extend the benefit much wider
The practices modelled by Local Pioneer Centres will be founded on the four marks of fresh expressions of church, namely seeking to be:
They will also generally express the values of being.
It will be of the essence of Local Pioneer Centres that they are generous, both in extending hospitality to those that visit/engage as well as in offering their time and that of their teams.
Leaders of Local Pioneer centres need to maintain a humble approach to progress that they are making so that interaction with visitors/connectors can be genuinely two way – all adopting the role of teacher/learner.
Those pioneering new models at Centres will share their experience and ‘model’, not as ‘the way’ but as one way in their context. Their focus will be more on underlying principles than resulting outcomes.
This flexibility will enable those in a Local Pioneer Centre to receive probing questions and critique from visitors/connectors, concerned more to help those visiting than prove their conclusions.
Leaders of Local Pioneer centres should have the inner security to move away from controlling cultures in order to foster innovation and empower multiplication in mission.
Roles and levels of Commitment
Local Pioneer centres will act as an example of good practice in fresh expressions generally, and certain aspects/contexts in particular. In doing so they will offer their leaders and teams to serve others who are exploring fresh expressions of church in any of the following ways:
- receive calls/Skypes/visits of either individuals or groups (from UK or abroad);
- allow for the shadowing of a pioneer;
- receive placements which could be either short or medium term;
- send ‘faith sharing’ teams that would be open to visit other churches and share experience.
Finding out more about Local Pioneer Centres
We are just about to announce the names and locations of our Local Pioneer Centres and when we do, we will detail how they can help you and how you can get in touch.
In the meantime if you’re interested in finding out more and registering interest please do get in touch.