george lings and ali dorey have just published a report on pioneers who are ordained and how they might be supported in in initial training post. this has come out of a gathering of pioneers and their training supervisors in the context. i admit this might sound a bit niche so i realise you might take persuading but it is fantastic. the research these guys have produced continues to be so helpful and insightful. i am so thankful for what they are doing. if you are someone who is in training as an OPM download and read it, if you are a DDO read it, if you are someone who is a training incumbent read it, if you are a bishop read it, if you work with fresh expressions read it, if you are a missioner in a diocese read it. you might think this is all good common sense but trust me this sense is not currently common in the wider church. although the church of england has had 30 years or so of new forms of church bubbling up around its edges and ten years of officially saying it wants this mixed economy, and about 8 years of creating the designation of ordained pioneers as a much needed gift in the church there are huge challenges. there is anxiety, fear, lack of understanding, a risk averse culture, a culture of hierarchy and control etc etc – i won’t spell these challenges out though i meet them almost every week with people training with us or who get in contact but this is certainly an invaluable piece of research laced with practical wisdom. i have actually just agreed to be an external supervisor for an ordained pioneer and we will definitely be talking this through.
thank you george and ali!