After a great launch event at Greenbelt 2014, The Pioneer Gift: Explorations in Mission is now published and available to buy.
Edited by CMS pioneer course leaders Jonny Baker and Cathy Ross, it’s an attempt to capture some of the research and thinking around pioneering and the gift that pioneers bring to the Church, particularly in the West, as it tries to navigate the new world in which it finds itself.
Here’s what the publishers, Canterbury Press, have to say:
Pioneer ministry happens among the 88 per cent of the population that the Church does not reach. Even if the best practices of growing churches were rolled out across every parish, 75 per cent of the population would remain untouched, so pioneer ministry is about doing things differently – ripping up the existing manual and starting again. The situation demands urgency, imagination and energy – and a good theological grounding which this book sets out to provide.
Ordained pioneer ministry is a significant and growing presence in the Church of England and the Methodist Church and in denominations around the world. Here leading practitioners and theologians in the pioneer movement including Doug Gay, Liz Sercombe, Beth Keith, Gerald Arbuckle and others reflect on emerging trends, practices and key theological challenges. They explore how people experience transformation, contextual engagement, dissent as a form of leadership, emerging patterns of urban ministry, whether the language of sin and guilt works today, challenges assumptions about how pioneer ministry is learned and more.
One of the key contributors, Gerald Arbuckle, said: “Several words describe my feelings at the end: energy, deep commitment by authors, pastoral creativity, hope! I just found it an exciting book. Let it be spread widely to encourage others.”