My husband was raised by a father who was an Arkansas farmer and a big fan of Roy Rogers -Did I say big? I mean huge, HUGE fan! Big Bob raised Jerry to appreciate the history of the old west. Being a city girl, I didn’t relate to my husband’s love for the western culture and history. However, we both were fashioned by God to be church planters, and church planters seem to share the same wild and crazy DNA as our American pioneering ancestors.
The pioneers of the American frontier were adventurous, courageous, ambitious, and aggressive. They were passionate, creative, wild and spontaneous. I imagine that they also enjoyed life, loved to laugh, and embraced every moment of their journey together. Their adventurous spirit must have been inspiring and contagious, leading communities of people into new territories for a new life. Their fresh purpose of discovery, possession, development and freedom was shared by groups of men and women who all wanted the same thing.
Pioneers are starters. Church planters have an itch on the inside of them to take possession of new land to begin a new community for others. They are trail blazers, desiring to lead the way for people to find life and build families. They are willing to go before, to be first. They want to go to a place where needs can be met and happiness can be found.
Pioneers take risks. Church planters are willing to leave a place of security with a quest for expansion and growth. They are willing to step out in order to help others fulfill their potential. They are willing to be uncomfortable and make sacrifices so that others can find their way.
Pioneers work together. Pioneers were often a group of people working together to build a community. Church planters understand that it takes a group of people to start a church. Church planting is not done alone! Launch teams are made up of people who are willing to pioneer a new community of faith, inviting others to come and enjoy new life in Christ.
Pioneers work hard. They would level the land, rock fields, and cut down trees for places to build homes. They would bring up the low places and bring down the high places, making the way straight for new roads so that others could easily follow. Pioneers prepared a place for others to come. Church planters do the same thing. They prepare a place for others to come. They prepare a place for God to meet with His people.
Pioneers enjoy new life! The work that church planters do has the purpose of new life, not only for themselves, but for the people that they will do life with. Church planters love God and they love people or they wouldn’t do what they do. The rewards of launching a new church are indescribable, seeing the Lord change lives by the power of His love.
I guess I’m a rootin’ tootin’ church plantin’ pioneering woman! With my partner Jerry Stone and in the grace of the Lord Jesus, I am ready to explore, to face the unexpected, to believe for breakthroughs – not just to get a new territory for ourselves, but to develop a new church that brings new life for others and expands the kingdom of God! As Jerry says, “Giddie-up!” It’s time to ride!