As a pioneering mission movement, one of The Salvation Army’s primary roles has always been to break new ground with the gospel, whether this be geographically or culturally.

It is paramount that we seek to encourage and resource new ways of being The Salvation Army for this present age in many different and varied contexts.

In recent years, we have seen pioneering in pubs with community choirs, with people in recovery, with young people and children, in forests, online and in sporting communities.  People across the territory are exploring how to be the people of God in pioneering ways. 

A photo of two women with their hands in the air standing in front of a red bus with the Salvation Army red shield on it
Pioneers from Canvey Island Salvation Army's Stuff on the Bus initiative

Major Andrew Vertigan, Territorial Pioneer and Fresh Expressions Enabler, says:

‘James Kerr writes in the book Legacy about how the New Zealand rugby team became the greatest sporting team of all time. It’s a great read, not just because it’s all about rugby but also because it offers us so many helpful pointers.;

‘As he explores “what the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life”, he addresses the importance of culture change.

‘Kerr writes: “A flock of birds carve a graceful V across the breaking day.   One bird leads, another follows, another takes the lead, in an endless synchronised support system, much like the peloton of professional cycling.   Ornithologists say flying this way is 70 per cent more efficient than flying solo… No one bird gets left behind.”

Birds flying in a 'v' shape

‘In a similar illustration, Kerry explains that “in Maori mythology, whanau [community] is symbolised by a spearhead.  A spearhead has three tips but to work properly all the force must move in one direction.”

‘These illustrations have really resonated with me.   For a few years I have been more and more convinced that the pioneering spirit is the arrowhead of the Church.   It not only breaks through but points toward the Kingdom.

‘Pioneering is an opportunity to explore the adventure of faith, to step out and see where God leads you.’

If you think God is calling you to pioneer a new expression of The Salvation Army, speak to your corps officer or contact our Pioneering Team at territorial headquarters.

Contact us

Majors Andrew and Andrew Vertigan are the Territorial Pioneering and Fresh Expressions Enablers.

Find out more

Discover more

Major Andrew Vertigan unpacks what pioneering really means with Simon Hope.

This online course is an introduction to pioneering and forming fresh expressions of church.

A lifelong commitment to Salvation Army leadership that's taken after deep thought and prayer.

Encouraging, supporting, training and deploying pioneers across the UK and Ireland.

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