SEARCH Journal

Why do we need ‘Pioneer Ministry’ - and how will it work in the Church of Ireland?

PIONEER ministry stands in the widening gap between the church and contemporary culture with the aim of reaching those outside the church and creating together new ways of being church - the community of those called out by Christ to share the Good News of God’s love. (Ek-klesia, one of the New Testament words for a church community, means ‘called out’.)

As the C of I’s national director of Pioneer Ministry, I feel it important to stress that Pioneer Ministries seek to engage people where they are, rather than inviting them to come to us. The approach may need to vary depending on the cultural distance between Christ followers and the people they are reaching out to. An existing church may adapt its approach - (e.g., messy church; café church, etc.) - or we may need to develop a brand new approach to provide opportunities to share our faith in a way people can relate to, which Is especially Important after the Covid-19 pandemic. So, the results of Pioneer Ministries may be a ‘bridge back’ to traditional church, a new context Christian community within an existing parish, or a ‘renewed start’ church plant.

* Full article available in printed copies.

Rob Jones

Is National Director of Pioneer Ministry and Rector of Holy Trinity, Rathmines, diocese of Dublin.