Pastor David Lawson

In the last post we talked about how God accomplishes great things through a pioneering spirit! Over the next few posts, we’ll look at 4 characteristics of the pioneering spirit from the leadership of Nehemiah.   Let’s take a look at the first one today!

This is the setting. Israel has been in captivity in Babylon for 70 years and they are beginning to return to their homeland. Nehemiah is serving in the King’s court when he gets word that the walls of Jerusalem are torn down and that the gates are burned. Jerusalem is uninhabitable for the returning Jews.


When Nehemiah heard about the disaster that had befallen Jerusalem, that the walls were torn down and the gates were burned, he wrote that…

… I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. – Nehemiah 1:9

And that’s the first characteristic of a pioneer. A pioneer…

Carries a burden from God.

The sorry state of the city – the holy city of God – and how that reflected on the Jews and their God deeply burdened and distressed Nehemiah.

As a pioneer for the gospel, you might feel a similar burden. To you, the 50,000-60,000 people in our county without a church home and likely without faith is more than a statistic. You sense the desperate need for people to know Jesus. You understand what’s at stake.

You sense the burden of the lost-ness of others in your soul. Your heart breaks because the walls of their lives are broken down. Your heart is weighed down by it. You see it in the eyes of your “5.” You see it in the lives of the families on your street, in your neighborhood, at your work, in your school. And you know you need to do something about.

If you’re shouting, “Yes! Yes, that’s what I feel!” in your heart. If you are nodding your head, then you may just be a pioneer for the gospel.

Reflection Questions:

Do you carry a burden of mission from God?
Are you spending time to stay sensitive to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in your heart and life?
Are you willing to ask God, “How do you want to use me in your mission of redemption?”
Who in your life are you praying for in your life, on your street, at work, at school?