Pioneer Mission Grants

We would be pleased to hear from you if you are considering doing something pioneering in the EMBA. There is information below which explains what we mean by ‘pioneering’ and what expectations we and you might have of each other. A limited amount of money is available for projects that fit the criteria.


The EMBA exists to serve East Midlands Baptists in mission.  This purpose is achieved by promoting healthy churches through caring, partnering, inspiring and equipping, and through the pioneering of new Christian communities and mission initiatives.  In all of these activities we seek to live under Christ’s rule and to be intentionally missional, relational and creative.

EMBA Pioneer Grants may be offered for missional initiatives which extend the reach of the Gospel beyond the boundaries of the existing church.  Grants may be awarded to churches, mission partners or to individuals.  Priority will be given to those initiatives which seek to establish a community of discipleship that is authentic to both the context in which it is set and to the Way of Christ.

Mission Grants and Mission Projects grants are also available to further God’s mission through Baptist churches; the distinguishing feature of EMBA Pioneer Grants is that they reach into new communities or cultures.

Funding applications will be considered that demonstrate a variety of the following:

Intentionally Missional:

An intention to discover and express new attitudes, new actions and new habits in mission.

An intention to reach a wider variety of people and sub-cultures than are presently reached by existing churches in the East Midlands, especially amongst poor and vulnerable communities. In other words they will break new ground.

An expectation of sustainability and development.

Intentionally Relational:

An intention to pioneer with an openness to and respect for the wider Christian community.

An ability to engage in reflective practice for the benefit of the Association.

An acceptance of a trusted freedom whilst remaining demonstrably accountable.

Intentionally Creative:

A willingness to take calculated creative risks in establishing new communities.

A commitment to develop a community of disciples who seek to demonstrate baptistic values as they live under Christ’s rule.

Grants given from this fund will be primarily of a seed corn nature, providing set up and early years funding for:

Staffing – early funding of posts usually in conjunction with other funding streams e.g. other organisations or employment.  (Substantial funding of ministerial posts and typical church worker posts over a period of several years might alternatively be eligible for a HM Grant)

Resources – that may enable early development (e.g. rental of space, purchase of equipment, etc)

Pilot projects – that may lead to growth in understanding and development of a full project

Training – development of budding pioneers and new teams involved in mission initiatives

Networking – allowing pioneers to meet for mutual development and support


Application process:

  1. Read Partner-Guidelines – Our role as an Association in your vision and application.
  2. Full discussion with your Regional Minister.
  3. An Application-Form to be completed for all applications.

Upon receipt of the completed application form applicants will normally be visited by members of the Pioneer Mission Group to seek any clarification or further information required. The grant application will then be considered by the Pioneer Mission Group.

In some circumstances potential pioneers might also be invited to complete a personal application form, provide references and attend a formal interview.

Accountability and Reporting

It is expected that all churches receiving grants will be willing to reflect and report on the work undertaken to the wider Baptist family. This might include periodic reviews, project reports and the writing of good news stories for EMBA publicity.  It is recognised in the reporting process that we are looking to hear both the challenges and successes of a project.

It is further expected that there will be regular attendance at meetings of Pioneers to offer training, prayer, support, share good practice and to develop the Pioneering aspirations of the Association.

Additional Notes

The Pioneer Fund is a depleting captial sum and for this reason we cannot guarantee funding for more than one year at a time.

Our expectation is that a typical grant will be around £5000 per year. In more demanding circumstances this may stretch to £10,000 per year and in exceptional circumstances, we may be able to further increase the grant level.

Need help thinking it all though?

  • One example of a Pioneer Mission Grant that has been awarded is Lubbesthorpe Project, Leicestershire. Read about it here
  • Contact your Regional Minister; they would love to help you develop an appropriate mission strategy. Their contact details are available here.