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The Methodist Pioneering Pathways (MPP) is a place that pioneers can call home, as well as being the Methodist Church’s formal support to those beginning New Places for New People. The MPP is a space where you do not need to explain the reason you see the world as you do, so you can instead focus on being challenged and inspired by those you encounter in the community. The MPP supports pioneers in the following ways:

Connecting

At the heart of MPP is the community of pioneers – diverse in outlook, background, and context; a mix of lay and ordained; all deeply committed to forming new places that connect new people to the transforming love of God. The connection to pioneers across the Connexion comes through monthly ‘Third Thursday’ online gatherings along with regional communities of practice facilitated by the Learning Network. Both of these places are an opportunity to share stories and wisdom. An annual retreat is also offered as a time to be together and deepen an understanding of the pioneer call.

Calling

The MPP is there to support those initially discerning a call to become a pioneer and to help them in those first steps. It supports experienced pioneers to deepen their call and develop their leadership potential within their district and the Connexional pioneering picture.

Equipping

Pioneering, like every call, needs to be nurtured through reflective practice and learning.

  • In their first year every pioneer on the MPP is offered a fully-funded place on the Pioneer Ministry Short Course. You can find details of the next course at Certificate in Pioneer Ministry - Courses - Cliff College - Cliff College
  • In subsequent years there is opportunity to apply for funding of other learning and training relevant to your planting context. This could be further study, such as a short course, or practical training to upskill and be better equipped. See this page for educational grants Scholarships and Funding
  • Book grants - are also available, on production of receipts, for up to a maximum total of £100 per pioneer for all of their time on the MPP. Please send claims for book grants to pioneering@methodistchurch.org.uk, with ‘book grant’ in the subject line. Grants are available each Connexional year until funds are exhausted on a first come, first served basis. Those who haven't received a grant in previous years will be privileged before those who have. The following books are currently recommended:

     Being Interrupted, Barrett, A., & Harley, R.,
     Beyond the Good Samaritan, Morisy, A
     Blessed are the Poor?, Green, L
     Christianity Rediscovered, Donovan, V.
     How to Pioneer: (even if you haven't a clue), Dave Male
     On the Side of the Poor, Gutierrez, G.
     Pioneer Practice, Jonny Baker
     Poverty Safari, McGarvey, D.
     Rewilding the Church, Steve Aisthorpe
     The Scandal of Redemption, Romero, O.
     When Helping Hurts, Corbett, S., & Firkett, B.
     Wholehearted Faith, Rachel Held-Evans

     Most of these books can be obtained from Church House Bookshop.

  • For those in funded or district-led NPNPs, the Church Planting Intensive is a required course designed to give additional support and training to enable the projects to have the best opportunity to be fruitful and influence wider cultural change. The next intensive is from 3 to 5 November 2023, it is a fully-funded (including accommodation and food) year-long hybrid course, beginning with a residential at Cliff College, followed by monthly online sessions (1st Thursday between 7-9pm) to explore and put in place the core practices of beginning New Places for New People. If you would like to join this year cohort please fill in this booking form to register your interest. Places are limited to 30, so get in quick if you are interested. For more information contact pioneering@methodistchurch.org.uk
  • There is also the opportunity for ongoing learning within the MPP via a monthly webinar. Different to the informal style of Third Thursdays, this session, hosted by the Evangelism and Growth team, gathers the MPP community for an in-depth webinar with a key pioneer/planter, thinker, writer, or practitioner – providing an opportunity to engage with those shaping the national and global pioneer movement. Watch below a sample webinar with Tina Hodgett exploring the Pioneer Spectrum.

Planting

The MPP offers support to put good practices in place which will give the best opportunity for fruitfulness. Areas include models of good accountability, systems for evaluating fruitfulness, planning for long-term sustainability, and fostering good relationships with the wider Methodist Church. You can read about the things we believe are important in Starting New Christian Communities: A Practical Guide. Take a look here.

Coaching

Most fruitful new ecclesial communities have a culture of coaching their leaders. The MPP pairs every pioneer in an active project with a coach who will help them develop personally as well as progress the project they are leading.

How to apply to join the MPP

Who is it for?

It is for those right at the start of their pioneering journey, those with little experience, and those who have pioneered and planted already. A community sharing a common desire to start new communities where people encounter the love of God for the first time.

Those exploring a call

If you sense a call to pioneer, the pathways will help you in this process of discernment through conversations with caring people, and resources to guide you.

Grassroots pioneers

There are over 1000 small volunteer-led Methodist Fresh Expressions of Church. If you are pioneering a Fresh Expression the pathways will support, you and your project to grow. We value this often unseen work of the New Places for New People movement.

Experienced planters and pioneers

The Methodist Pioneering Pathways is for those that have planted higher-profile New Places for New People. These may be fully-funded roles or larger projects involving greater resources.

Still exploring your place in the New Places for New People movement?

If you are not sure about what your place is in the New Places for New People movement come along to one of our Hub events. Run in partnership between the Learning Network and the Evangelism and Growth Team, Hubs are open to everyone who wants to learn more about pioneering and beginning new Christian communities, they are a place to ask questions, hear stories from pioneer projects and learn about the support you can find from the Methodist Church. Register for the next one here.