Questions
about Serving

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.

Why Pioneers

What is Pioneers mission statement?

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

What are Pioneers core values and how are they demonstrated?
Core Value
How It’s Demonstrated
Passion for God

Living a lifestyle of worship, prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit.

Unreached Peoples

Working among those with the greatest need and least opportunity to know Jesus.

Church-planting Movements

Sowing the Truth of Jesus Christ, urging growth through prayer and discipleship until a new group of Christ-followers emerges.

The Local Church

Partnering with sending churches and national churches.

Team-Centered

Ensuring all members thrive on the field through accountability, partnership, encouragement and vision from teammates.

Innovation and Flexibility

Allowing teams to develop and implement ministry strategy relevant to the situation.

Ethos of Grace

Cultivating an atmosphere of mutual acceptance and respect.

Participatory Servant-Leadership

Having leadership on the field to serve members through interactive decision making.
What is Pioneers focus? In what part of the world and with what people groups does it work?

PIONEERS focuses on church planting among unreached peoples, with emphasis on five major unreached people blocs that are found around the world: T (Tribal) H (Hindu) U (Unreligious/Secular -many Chinese fall into this block) M (Muslim) B (Buddhist).

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 3000 personnel worldwide sent from mobilization bases in Canada, the United States, Ghana, Singapore, UK, Australia and New Zealand. A dozen more mobilization gateways are emerging in places like Netherlands, Brazil, Egypt, and South Korea.

How old is Pioneers?

PIONEERS was started in the US 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 here. 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.

Cross-Cultural Ministry and Church Planting

What role does the local church have in my 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 the agency 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.

Do you 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 bases to recruit more people to join them.

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.

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 team in Canada provides care in special times of transition, change or crises and also during home assignments. 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. 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

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.

How much funding will I need to raise?

This varies on country, city, team and your personal or family situation. You will work with our finance team and the the leader of the team you are joining to create an appropriate personal and ministry budget.

What does Pioneers do for medical insurance?

All Pioneers members are required to have a medical insurance plan 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. We honor the donor’s wishes and put the funds in the missionary’s partner account to be used for PIONEERS ministry salary 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 finance team.

Qualifications and steps to become a missionary

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.
How old do I need to be to serve with Pioneers?

All missionaries must be 18 years old or older

Do I need Bible training before entering the field?

All long term and venture missionaries 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. We offer this event two times a year (November and May). Any further individualized training requirements are determined during your interview.

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.

If you have more questions, please contact us.

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