Why do we need mission pioneers?

Monday, 18 August, 2014

Watch the latest update from the CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course.

View this video on the CMS website.


Jonny Baker, CMS Pioneer Mission Course Leader: I mean I think every system, organisation, culture, always gets stuck with business as usual and needs people that see new possibilities that are different to the way things are and the church is no different to that at all. Pioneers are people that see new possibilities and then they're able to make them happen and we sometimes call them 'dreamers who do'.

Andrea Campanale, CMS Pioneer Course Graduate, Kingston: I've been working with spiritual seekers for about eight years altogether. I started at the Green Fair in Kingston, somebody came up to us and said, 'I'm on the organising committee of a pagan festival called Lammas in Eastbourne and I'd really like it if you could get together a team and come and do some of the kind of outreach you've talked about'. By the end of the first day, the organisers had said, 'We'd really like it if you could come again'.

Gavin Mart, CMS Pioneer Student, Colwyn Bay, Wales: The original idea was to come into a community to try and unearth some sense of spirituality within that community through the arts and we found this building here, which is an old abandoned hotel on the high street in Colwyn Bay. We threw open the doors and let the community come in. At the moment we're a kind of fledgling community of folk who are looking out for one another, exploring some sense of spirituality through the arts.

Kim Hartshorne, CMS Pioneer Course MA Student, Cirencester: We'd noticed that the people from the sort of difficult parts of town were not represented in the churches and were kind of maybe not welcome there so we decided to set up a space that would welcome those people in. We didn't have a grand master plan, we were four housewives, but we just had this tug of our heart that God cares for these people and how could that care be communicated?

Angela Howarth, CMS Student and Ordained Pioneer Minister, Coventry: The church isn't so much about Sundays any more. I think for a lot of families, Sundays are family days and people will have conversations around a table but they won't feel that comfortable on a Sunday in something that's maybe a little bit more formal. And we find that food, people like anything that they have food around the table.

The world needs dreamers who do and that's why CMS started a pioneer training course.

Jonny Baker: Well I think our USP is simple; it's pioneering mission. The strange thing is I think we're almost the only course out there who that's the USP. So, for people who are pioneers and who love mission, we're just the best thing around. Unbiased opinion!

Kim Hartshorne: Pioneering can be really isolating. It's been like a sort of homecoming to get in here and find the space that's opened up for us.

Andrea Campanale: It's a community in which each of us is trying to find out more about who we are in Christ.

Gavin Mart: The course has given me a language framework which I can use, not just to communicate what I'm trying to do but also process in my own psyche why things aren't working, why perhaps things are working when they shouldn't. It's been very helpful for that kind of thing.

Angela Howarth: Some people say to me, 'you're not a pioneer, look at your age, you don't have a church' and I say I think pioneer means more than that; it's just starting things that are new.

Jonny Baker: One of the things I love about the pioneers that seem to connect with CMS is that they just have such diverse ideas of what they pioneer so I love it that somebody engages in Forest Church, I love that somebody's doing bicycle repair workshop with young people as a way to build community. I never expected we'd have someone running a singing café to reach people with dementia. I love that, I think it's really creative; I could not have predicted the things that people are doing.

For more information, go to pioneer.cms-uk.org.


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