|It’s easy for us to face off in different corners of the room advocating style preferences, etc… Styles change. Ministry flavor changes. God never changes. Neither does His calling on us as a people. Let’s not embrace style too tightly. In fact, throw style out the window…unless style alters solid doctrine (then we better have that discussion).
Instead, let’s remember a beautiful heritage that God has called us to.
When I was 17, I was roofing an addition with my Papa on his house in Wimauma. My Nana brought us cokes and we sat on the roof and talked. He paused and said, “Big T, I can take these tools and go anywhere in the world and make a living for my family and build the Kingdom of God.” I knew he was right too. He was the foreman on a really cool construction project among many others when he was younger. Every time, I drive to Miami Beach, I look at the railroad bridge going over to the Port of Miami. I think of my Papa and what he must have looked like when he helped put that bridge together.
Anyway, couched in those words was the fiercely pioneering DNA of a good man of God. He was a Gospel pioneer. At that point he was 69. When he was 72 or so, he built a house by himself. Wow. In my eyes, he was fearless, unafraid, uncompromised, and full of passion…seriously full of passion for Christ, his family, the world, and his church.
Our church family was full of men and women with this steel-eyed, gaze and tenacity. Over time, I’m afraid we’ve grown softer, more privileged, and with a slight bent toward entitlement. We still have men and women like this. In fact, it’s within us all to be giants again. Afterall, look at who our fathers and mothers were.
Remembering our pioneering heritage is not trying to duplicate a style. If my Papa was still alive and he saw me trying to be a younger version of him, he’d probably give me a hard time and tell me to stop being so dull and predictable.
Remembering our pioneering heritage is rediscovery our guts, our fire in the belly, our Gospel passion, our thirst for our cities and cities, towns and hamlets we’ve never seen before. It’s having the gumption to launch out with the promise of little for the hope of many souls coming to Christ. Remembering our pioneering heritage is being counter-cultural and challenging people to so fall in love with Christ that they lose their love for the things that previously captivated them.
If we aren’t careful, we’ll become dull children of prosperity, so far removed from the passion that drove our pioneers that we will not create anything new- no new churches, no new radical disciples, no new ruckuses, bruised knuckles, and skinned egos.
I believe each one of us in our unique giftings, personalities, and postures, relying completely on a powerful Holy Spirit can get a fresh taste of the unexplored frontier in our bellies and become new pioneers…doing what is already in our DNA to do. In that, there’s a Gospel revolution waiting to happen…waiting to be carried on…waiting to be passed down to more kids who are piddling around with their Papa being challenged to attempt to do the impossible that becomes probable when the Holy Spirit saturates our souls.