New Course Offers Accreditation for Baptist Pioneers
People interested in exploring new forms of church and ministry can now be accredited as pioneers by our Baptist Union of Great Britain
Equipped to Pioneer is a new part-time training course for anyone in Baptist churches involved in pioneer ministry and church planting.
It is a collaborative and flexible venture that will see the Baptist colleges and the Crucible Course, run by Urban Expression, each deliver five core modules of the course.
There will be a placement in a pioneering situation, either through Urban Expression or the Incarnate Network. Students will complete a final two modules, delivered either by a Baptist college or the Church Mission Society's Pioneer Mission Leadership Training Course.
Those completing the course will be recognised as a pioneer by BUGB. The process of recognition will be similar to that for Lay Pastors, involving the local church and association.
Equipped to Pioneer was developed in 2012. The Revd Kathryn Morgan, then mission advisor in the BUGB Mission Department, gathered together a number of pioneers, who came up with a curriculum.
Colleges were spoken to and other organisations brought on board. The process has been through the Ministries Team, and last week details about the new course went on the BUGB website.
The Revd Peter Dominey of Church from Scratch and the Incarnate Network explained that pioneering is about the new, going beyond the existing expression of church. It could be in an area where there is no church, or done within a church to reach people that church is not reaching. 'It's pioneering new ways of doing, recognising the need to be creative.'
He said Equipped to Pioneer provides a 'lovely mix of training'. It's not just one course provider, it's drawing on all the amazing resources that we have.'
Kathryn said it's for anyone who is feeling a call to 'some new form of church or some new mission activity'. 'Going on the course will really help to equip people to step out into the unknown, as well as provide a wider network of people in a similar situation.'
She also suggested that the leadership teams of large churches consider going on the course. 'It would help them to understand the difference between new forms of church and the inherited church, and why they are both important.' She added, 'I'm delighted it's now become official. I think it says a lot about where the Union is going.'
The Revd Lynn Green, who will begin her term as the new general secretary in September, wants our Union to support pioneers.
She said, 'I am really excited about the Equipped to Pioneer course! Alongside our many gifted, church based ministers and leaders, I believe that we need an explosion of new pioneers and I am praying that God will raise them up.
'The Equipped to Pioneer course will make top quality training available and accessible to all those who have a passion to reach their local communities, regardless of whether they are seeking ordination or not. I hope that as many as possible will make the most of this new opportunity.'
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