A core team (Mission opportunities group), established by the diocesan Bishop, develops and implements strategy. It includes the Director of Pioneer Ministry, Church growth team leader and members of the Bishop's Core group such as the two Archdeacons and the Diocesan secretary (a key person in this).
Several other teams that gather regularly around a common missional focus, and cluster together once a term:
- pioneer ministers;
- emerging leaders (pioneer curates);
- workplace network;
- DPA Urban network;
- city network;
- emerging generation network;
- Lake and River churches (parish network);
- area deans (with a Lake and River mindset).
- small size;
- indigenous lay leadership;
- reproducible models;
- connection to inherited ('blended' economy);
- seasonal mission movements.
- to create and reproduce mixed economy local churches;
- to plant and multiply a variety of fresh expressions;
- to build a pioneer network, blending the two together.
To model, then multiply, then mesh together.
1. Three kinds of pioneer
Traditional Parish Planting Pioneer, Deanery Pioneers and Network Pioneers, ie, leaders who have the capacity to reproduce several projects.
2. Twelve ordained pioneers
All planting, but also grafted into inherited churches in associate roles to promote a 'blended' economy.
3. Identifying churches with potential
Working with them, including big churches. A resource church can be any size and will have the potential for reproduction. 'Working with life from life'
4. Looking intentionally to renew historic churches
Through development of 50/50 mixed economy model
5. Lage and River
Lake (settled communities) and River (flow anywhere and everywhere) themes. Adopted by diocese and some deaneries – even in logo!
6. Spider's web theme
A soft and flexible structure that doesn't replace, but can be laid over an existing structure. Single threads are fragile and vulnerable, but together they form a structure that is strong, attractive, organic and functional.
7. Ecumenical strategy
This has been slow (though being worked on) and so the major focus has initially been on diocesan strategy. There are two well established ecumenical mission initiatives on Merseyside ('Together for the Harvest' and 'SHINE'), but interest and engagement in 'fresh expression' thinking is a work in progress.
8. Coaching people is the key
Not putting on courses. Three strands for training:
- School of Leadership, established now since 2003, with 60 incumbents having gone through an intensive 12 month process;
- mission shaped intro - one person exclusively employed to roll this out continuously in deaneries and parishes;
- mission shaped ministry - looking to radically remodel and personalise for teams who are already and intentionally engaged in pioneer projects.
9. Recognition of four stages
Stages that people move through in embracing the vision:
- permission – agreement, 'let it happen', entrust, apprehension;
- blessing – encouragement, 'like it', endorse, approval;
- passion – engagement, 'love it', enthuse, affiliation;
- paradigm shift – investment, 'live it', enshrine, affinity.
Liverpool Diocese Director of Pioneer Ministry