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FAQs

  • Frequently Asked Questions

Are you exploring how God is leading you toward service on the field, trying to understand how Pioneers sends and supports, or wondering how to support missionaries together? Those are good questions and some of those answers may be found here.
 
Do you have a question that’s not here? Please contact us as we would love to help.
 

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Why Pioneers?
  • Why are there missions agencies?

    Imagine relocating your family to another country and learning to function effectively in a new language and culture while sharing the gospel with i.e. Muslims and Buddhists who have little idea of what you, as an outsider, are talking about.

    It is possible to go it alone. But consider how much more you might accomplish by working together with other like-minded people and national church partners. That is why God has raised up mission agencies that band together teams of workers from diverse backgrounds in order to spread the gospel.

  • What is Pioneers' mission statement?

    Pioneers mobilizes teams to glorify God among unreached peoples by initiating church planting movements in partnership with local churches

  • Where can I serve with Pioneers? In what part of the world and with what people groups does it work?

    Worldwide we serve where unreached peoples live, places where there are no churches or where the church is not sufficiently able to reach their own peoples with the gospel without outside help.
    Pioneers emphasizes on five major unreached people blocs that are found around the world: Tribal/Animists, Hindu, Unreligious/Secular (many Chinese fall into this block), Muslim, Buddhist, Folk-Christianity.
    Currently we have 379 teams serving in 104 countries. Our teams are always looking for new members! Equally important members are free, in consultation with others, to explore creative ways to start new teams where teams do not yet exist. Where and among whom is the Lord calling you to serve?

  • Does Pioneers have a lot of policies or rules?

    As an organization Pioneers doesn’t have many policies or rules. Adaptation to different people and circumstances is more valued than sticking to stringent rules and guidelines. In addition, field driven teams have the freedom to set standards for the team that are most appropriate in their particular ministry context. Field leadership holds teams accountable in setting appropriate standards.

  • How big is Pioneers?

    Pioneers currently has around 3200 personnel worldwide sent from mobilization offices in Canada, United States, Ghana, Singapore, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Brazil, Egypt, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Europe, Philippines.

  • How old is Pioneers?

    Pioneers was started in the USA in 1979. The first few teams were sent to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Africa. Pioneers Canada was formed out of a merger with World Outreach Fellowship in 1993. WOF had served the Canadian church since 1982 in sending short-term teams through SPRINT and in sending long-term workers primarily to unreached areas of Latin America. In 2010 Pioneers and Arab World Ministries united to strengthen the work in the Middle East and North Africa.

  • What is Pioneers' denominational affiliation?

    Pioneers is an interdenominational organization. Our Statement of Faith can be found on the website. In matters not addressed by our Statement of Faith Pioneers acknowledges differing points of view provided they are based on the Bible as the supreme authority, and that no interpretation or practice will undermine the work of the gospel or the unity among those with whom we serve. We seek to live, work, and relate to one another in a spirit of love and humility, as outlined in Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 13, and other passages.

  • What is Pioneers' retention rate?

    Pioneers has retained 94% of its members over the past 12 years.

  • What is Pioneers' growth rate?

    Internationally Pioneers has grown 10% on average per year for the past 15 years in terms of members.

  • How can Pioneers help you in your initial exploration?

    By talking and getting to know each other, listening to what God is saying, and exploring how your experience can be used in a cross-cultural team. Working in a foreign culture as Christ’s ambassador, albeit in a multi-cultural team, has dynamics all of its own. Therefore this process of exploration and preparation takes time.

Cross-Cultural Ministry and Church Planting
  • How do teams plant churches?

    Teams are planting churches in word and deed. Generally humanitarian projects or businesses allow team members to apply for visa, needed for being able to stay in the country of your ministry. Furthermore you live deliberately amidst the local people. Most of all you live out a loving, caring Christian life style to your own family, friends, neighbours and the people around. This will raise questions and provide openings and opportunities to share the word. They only know a non-Christian society, culture and often have many prejudiced ideas about Christians. Therefore the way you live, love and care actually shows them Jesus. Above all prayer is the key factor in mission. You witness, God convinces.

    In their church-planting initiatives teams work with the national church where feasible.

  • What does a Pioneers team look like?

    Pioneers is committed to the principle of body life or team. There really is no typical team today we simply know that we need each other. Our teams are often multi-faceted and culturally diverse, seeking to demonstrate love in a powerful way.

  • Does Pioneers always send people out in teams?

    Being team-centered is a core value and Pioneers prefers that all members serve on teams. However, in order to respond to new visions and opportunities, Pioneers will sometimes send out individuals. These individuals will commit to working with mobilization offices to recruit more people to join them.

  • Why the emphasis on partnerships and teams?

    “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

    We are not “lone rangers” in taking the Gospel to the “out of reach”. In fact our very love for fellow believers is a testimony to the world that we belong to Christ. In addition to being a testimony working in teams provides encouragement, accountability and an environment in which to grow and mature. Therefore we facilitate the forming of teams with individuals who share a similar vision and complimentary gifts.

    Teams enable the use of a variety of vocations and services: business, agriculture, community development, social services, education, medicine, hospitality and many more.

    Regarding partnerships:

    Since local church is central to God’s mission, our and your relationship with the sending church is a very high priority.

  • What form of church model is practiced on the field?

    Since Pioneers is field-driven, the church model is taught and practiced within the context of the field while maintaining traditional biblical structures.

  • Does Pioneers encourage new ministry methods and innovative ideas for ministry?

    Yes, Innovation and Flexibility is a core value of Pioneers.

  • Who decides what ministry I will be involved in?

    Within the framework of team, Pioneers empowers members to pursue the calling that God has placed on their lives.

  • How are team decisions made?

    Team decisions are usually made by consensus. If the Team Leader determines that a harmful consensus has been reached, he or she will consult with the Area Leader. If a team member has serious reservations about a decision of the Team Leader or team, he/she may approach the Team Leader for private discussion. If after prayer and discussion the issue still remains unresolved, the team member may contact the Area Leader. In all communications missionaries should be careful to honor the role and responsibility of the leader.

  • Do you believe in the gifts of the Spirit?

    In matters not addressed by our Statement of Faith Pioneers acknowledges differing points of view provided they are based on the Bible as the supreme authority, and that no interpretation or practice will undermine the work of the gospel or the unity among those with whom we serve. We seek to live, work, and relate to one another in a spirit of love and humility, as outlined in Romans 14, I Corinthians 13, and other passages.

  • What role does my local church have in overseas ministry?

    The local church is a core value of Pioneers; we require that each of our members have a relationship with their local, sending church. The local church is essential in providing accountability, encouragement, prayer and financial support.

  • How does Pioneers work with other agencies?

    Teams seek to work with other agencies in assessing ministry needs and by coordinating efforts to meet those needs within the ministry context. There are many instances when Pioneers collaborate with members of other agencies when in close proximity.

Member Care
  • How are team members cared for on the field?

    The primary source of member care is the team leader, but teammates also help ensure the health, care and safety of their fellow members. Area and regional teams on the field are also active in providing member care. The Member Care staff of your mobilisation office provides care in special times of transition, change or crises, also during home assignments and is second in line for the Member Care on the field. Always vigilant to stay in touch with you, able and willing to help. It is also expected that your sending church provides care through whatever means possible: emails, phone calls, packages, visits, etc.

  • How are missionaries held accountable?

    As with member care, accountability on the field occurs primarily within the framework of the team, but also on a variety of different levels. Team members are to hold each other accountable for life/ministry issues on a regular basis. Each year, team members are to complete an Annual Ministry Plan (AMP) for ministry, personal, and spiritual growth. Team leaders are responsible for holding team members accountable to the AMP. Area leaders, those to whom the team leaders report, are approachable/available if communication breaks down or to help meet the needs of the team. Member Care staff is also available for accountability issues. Accountability should also come from the local church.

  • How are children cared for and educated?

    Education of children is at the discretion of the parents. Given the situation parents may home school or send their child(ren) to a national school, a Christian school, an international school or a boarding school. Your mobilisation office and Pioneers Member Care Team can work in conjunction with the parents to evaluate the options for the care and education of their children if requested.

Finances
  • How does it work financially?

    Some combine ministry and a paying job. Others are financially supported by churches and friends that pray for them and support their vision. Budgets for livelihood and ministry are designed and reflect the cost of living and working in the country. Raising support may sound daunting, but we have always found that God will provide for all your needs if indeed he is sending you.

  • Do I need to raise my own funds?

    Yes. All our members trust the Lord Jesus to meet their financial needs. Most seek the commitment of financial partnerships before they leave. Others have a portion of their financial needs met through employment when they are overseas, or through other forms of income generation.

  • How much money do I need to raise?

    The cost of living varies on country, city, team and your personal or family situation. By drawing on the experience of our many workers across the world your mobilisation office and the leader of the team you are joining will work with you to create an appropriate personal and ministry budget.

  • What percent of donations for a missionary's ministry is used for overhead expenses?

    Twelve percent of donations goes to Pioneers operating expenses: 10% to the member’s home base and 2% to international leadership costs. Sometimes a fixed fee is more appropiate.

  • What does Pioneers do for medical insurance?

    All Pioneers members are required to have a medical insurance that includes medical evacuation insurance.

  • Do I need to have my debt fully paid before leaving for the field?

    In most cases it would be great to have all debt paid off before leaving for the field, but there are exceptions. Pioneers will sometimes allow part of a school loan to be incorporated into a budget, especially if a person’s degree is instrumental to the work done on the field. Life debts such as car loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc usually need to be paid in full prior to departure for the field but this is dealt with on an individual basis and should be addressed in your Candidate Interview.

  • Does Pioneers pool funds, or does my support go into my own account?

    All donations are given to the organization not to an individual. The donor gets a tax-deductible receipt if possible, in accordance with tax laws of your sending country. We honor the donor’s wishes and put the funds in the missionary’s project account to be used for personal ministry and expenses. Pioneers does not pool funds, excess funds remain available as needed in your Pioneers ministry support account.

  • Does Pioneers allow missionaries to have other forms of employment (i.e. tent-making, business as mission, business for transformation)?

    Pioneers uses a “dual employment” system for handling other sources of income. Employees may hold a second job or own a business as long as it does not conflict with their Pioneers responsibilities. Often the other employment enhances ministry by opening closed doors and providing ministry opportunities. In order to insure healthy accountability in monies received from other sources, discussions will take place between your team leader and our mobilisation office.

Qualifications and Steps to Become a Missionary
  • How old do I need to be to serve with Pioneers?

    All missionaries must be 18 years old or older, in accordance with visa requirements of your ministry country.

  • What qualifications would I need?

    Qualifications vary according to the person and the potential context of the ministry, but usually these are a combination of personal character, Bible knowledge, mission training, work experience, and of course God’s call.

  • What are the requirements for becoming a member of Pioneers?

    • Evidence of the fruit of the Spirit and healthy interpersonal relationships.
    • Faithfulness and some measure of effectiveness in ministry. Basic understanding of biblical, theological, and missiological concepts.
    • Committed to personal growth and ongoing learning and reflection within a diverse international fellowship.
    • Testimony to God’s leading to cross-cultural service.
    • Written recommendation and endorsement of the Sending Church.

  • Can my skills be uses in mission?

    Absolutely! Mission is about living as a passionate follower of the Lord Jesus Christ in some other postcode of the world. You get to be yourself, living and serving and sharing life through the gifts and skills that make you who you are. All over the world, every day, followers of Jesus are using creative ways to do ‘life on life’ with people who don’t yet know him.

  • What preparation does Pioneers require?

    We’ll answer this question by asking you some questions first!

    • What are you planning to do in mission?
    • What is your past experience?
    • How has God wired you?
    • What skills and gifts do you have?
    • Do you have a good understanding of the bible?
    • Can you share it with people of other faiths and other cultures?
    • Does your church endorse you?
    Our ethos is to help you prepare well so that you will thrive, not just survive, in cross-cultural life and ministry. We want to work with you to form an individualised preparation plan to suit your needs. You may need language learning skills, bible college training, or cross-cultural awareness. We’ll encourage you to learn from those who have gone before by reading good books and interacting with former workers. Each step of the way we’ll aim to serve you as you prepare to serve others.

  • What are steps to serving with Pioneers?

    Relationships are important to us. We want to get to know you and we invite you to get to know us. This relational approach involves several important steps, including:

    • Endorsement by your church
    • Application papers
    • Medical and psychosocial review
    • Gathering of feedback from referees
    • Discussion and prayer with members of the Pioneers team
    • Orientation
    • Training and development (an individual preparation plan)
    • Partner, fund raising
    • Possible survey trip
    • Invitation to join a team
    • Partnership development
    • Commissioning by your church

  • How does my church get involved?

    Pioneers is a servant of local churches because local churches are mandated to engage in mission activity. Your church will be your sending body and we will work with you to ensure your church understands the responsibility they embrace when they send their members to other parts of the world.
    We’ll invite your church to be involved all along the way:

    • As you are thinking about mission: share with your church leaders, ask for their prayer and include them in your discernment process.
    • Before we formalise the application stage of joining Pioneers a member of our team will meet with your pastor or mission advocate.
    • The relationship with your church is essential at every step of your missions journey; before you go, while you’re serving cross-culturally, and when you’re back in your home country to reconnect with family, church and supporters.

  • Do I need Bible training before entering the field?

    All missionaries from one year term on are required to have a solid and growing understanding of the Bible. As a minimum it is recommended that you have completed the following courses; survey of the Old Testament, survey of the New Testament, overview of Bible doctrine, how to study the Bible, and the principles and history of missions. These courses do not have to be formal classroom training and can be completed online. Each person will be assessed during their interview and requirements and recommendations may be given. Bible courses can be completed after the interview but should be completed prior to the start of full time ministry.

  • What sort of training do you offer to prepare people for the field?

    All long-term missionary candidates are required to attend our Candidate Orientation Program (COP). The purposes of COP are to determine if there is a fit within Pioneers for you; to help you get to know us better; to consider ministry locations and teams; to receive some early preparation in church planting and partner raising; and to interview you and determine if you will be offered appointment as a missionary. Any further individualized training requirements are determined during your interview.

  • How long does it take to prepare?

    Together we can determine the answer to this question. It may take weeks, months or even years. The goal is to prepare well so you can serve well. It is not uncommon for people to be overseas within a year or so of joining Pioneers.

  • For how long do I go?

    Short-term workers go from some weeks up to 1 year to gain exposure to language, culture and team ministry and to evaluate how God may use them to bring His glory to the unreached peoples of our world.

    Long-term workers go from one years to fifty years! We are committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ, which means we are committed to serving long-term by learning language, adapting to culture, and serving people. Our goal is that the good news of Jesus is shared with people who don’t know him and that churches are established.

  • Will you consider candidates who are divorced?

    Divorce will not disqualify anyone from consideration. We look at each person’s case individually. We apply grace while maintaining respect for Biblical standards regarding the issue.

  • What motivates people to invest their lives in the nations?

    Tasting the goodness of God and appreciating that this blessing is to be shared with others who are currently beyond the reach of the Gospel. (Romans 15:20-21) Pioneers is looking for men and women who persevere, even at great sacrifice, to bring God’s glory among unreached people groups. (Psalm 115:1). Pioneering people serve God not out of convenience but out of conviction.

    We also know that Christ promises blessings for those who leave “houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands” for his name’s sake. (Mark 10:29-30)

  • What sort of people go?

    People just like you! Married, single, families, recently graduated and even retired. We are a diverse people with one common goal: we want our lives to count for something truly worthwhile.

  • How about you?

    Do you have a responsibility to the people and places of greatest need and least opportunity of receiving the gospel? Are you active in your local church and in sharing your faith with others? Do you understand and accept the core values of Pioneers? Do you have a passport and are you a resident in Europe? Are you willing to invest the time in preparing to work in a team-centred church-planting ministry?

    If you have answered ‘yes’ to these questions, we’d love to hear from you!

More questions?

If you have more questions, please contact us.
 

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