Pastor David Lawson

If you haven’t been following along this series of blog posts on the Pioneering Spirit, you can catch up here. Today we’re going to be looking at two more characteristics of a pioneer! Do either of these resonate with you?

The second characteristic from Nehemiah about pioneers is that a pioneer…

Recognizes the movement of God.

Nehemiah knew God was up to something after his fateful encounter with the King. In a highly unlikely chain of events, God orchestrated an encounter with the king that superseded Nehemiah’s responsibilities and enabled him to successfully petition the king to leave the king’s court and to lead an effort to rebuild the city of his people. It was a nearly unprecedented “ask.” But God was moving. God was moving in the heart of Nehemiah. God was moving in the heart of the king. And God was moving in world history.

As someone with the pioneer spirit, you too see God at work. You see Him at work in our church. You see people declaring faith in Jesus and getting baptized. We saw it at our December baptism. We saw at our summer baptism, where nearly 40 more people went public with their story were baptized. You’ve heard the stories from Kalahari and Welcome Weekend, and your heart rejoices every time. Someone with the pioneer spirit recognizes the movement of God.

And that leads us to the third characteristic of the pioneer spirit. A pioneer…

Creates opportunity for others.

More particularly, a pioneer will often take territory previously considered uninhabitable and realize its potential. We see that in the development of our own country. From its European discovery in 1492 to its colonization to the Westward Expansion, pioneers created opportunity for others.

In Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s day, the walls were broken down. The gates were burned. Jerusalem was uninhabitable. And all who were there were at risk because they were vulnerable to the surrounding nations.

Nehemiah, carrying a burden from God and recognizing the movement of God, made the big ask of King Darius and took on the responsibility of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem to create opportunity for his fellow Jews and revive the witness of God through that city to the world. A pioneer creates opportunity for others.

Reflection Questions:

Do you recognize the movement of God at Grace? Where do you see God at work?
How can you create opportunity for others as you continue to follow Jesus?
How do you envision the third venue creating opportunity for others to find and grow in Jesus?