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19 December 2013

Baptist pioneer collective launched

Baptist pioneer collective launched

A new collective of Baptists was launched on Monday 9 December. 

The Baptist Pioneer Collective seeks to identify and support 400 new Baptist pioneers over the next five years to go where there is no church, to do what Jesus did and see what happens.

"Over the next 5 years (2014-2019) we want to release a tribe of 400 Baptist pioneers to engage in creative and entrepreneurial mission beyond the fringe of existing congregational life in the UK, to seek the Kingdom of God in new ways, new cultures and new contexts," they said.

Pioneer Louise Frood wanted to share with others what she had found after her life-changing encounter with Jesus: "About four years ago I started making up some flasks of soup, buying loaves of bread and heading to the High Street with my friend, looking for people who were hungry, lonely or wanted someone to talk to. We soon got to know the local rough sleepers and addicts and began meeting the same faces each week.

"This progressed into weekly hot meals, street barbeques, Christmas parties, curry evenings, under-the-bridge worship, a few healings, broken addictions and some of the guys coming to know Jesus."

Another pioneer is Emma Nash, an ordained Baptist minister, who spends more time serving coffee than communion: "I recently became mission development minister for a church coffee shop. I spend my time serving the local community with coffee and planning fresh ways of sharing the gospel on the high street. My heart is for people who have never been to church."

As a pioneer, Emma aims to consider the best way to reach a particular culture. She advocates mission which goes to where people are rather than expecting them to come to church. For her it is about incarnational mission which means living alongside people and putting love and faith into action.

The Pioneer Collective is about reclaiming the pioneering Baptist heritage. Its aims are to encourage, equip and release pioneers and to provide them with mentoring and training. Lead partners are Urban Expression, Incarnate Network, Light Project and BMS World Mission.

In 2012 Baptists celebrated 400 years of Baptist presence in Britain. From this they began to look beyond 400 www.beyond400.net and to begin conversations about the future of their mission and ministry together. The vision behind the Pioneer Collective is one outcome of those discussions.