Jesus is our Pioneer. The NIV uses this term to translate Hebrews 12:2 with reference to running the race set before us. That is, to finishing the course that He designed and defined by His own pursuit of purpose. “Looking to Jesus, the Pioneer.”
Pioneering isn’t something that fades into the setting sun as bygone heroes phase out of our modern “we’ve arrived” sense of church-anity often assumes. Just the opposite. Any kind of church-anity that isn’t built with and upon pioneering mutates with metastatic mediocrity or stupefies with static stress. Church without pioneers accumulates believers but fails to expand and establish kingdom.
“Jesus is our Pioneer, so we don’t have to pioneer.” This poorly conceived notion certainly echoes loudly in empty mausoleum chambers, but it sounds incredibly inconsistent with every command of Jesus and each aspect of the discipling process through which He asks every believer to go. “Jesus did it all, so I can do nothing.” He won the battle, so I have no fight. He defeated my enemies, so I have none. He took the pain, so I am exempted. He endured so I can attend spiritual spa for deep-tissue massage each week unless I’m at the beach, with family, or need some time to myself.
Church is not attending a service, for sure, but we are now into a function of the Body in which something as simple as gathering is not only optional but also desirable.
The idea of attending answers to the idea of following. In other words, showing up doesn’t mean you are being discipled yet. And, when the definition of showing up includes “do something seeker friendly so I’ll maybe come back” or “get your kids over here for the latest and greatest imitation of Disneyworld (we’ll make your kids want to do what you can’t seem to get them to),” we should understand that we have left kingdom purpose so far behind that most people don’t understand what we mean when we say, “kingdom.”
Kingdom living is pioneering living. Not accumulating believers for the accommodation of beliefs. Be certain that Jesus isn’t hoping for an expansion of proselytes but an establishing of kingdom by the enrollment of kingdom citizens who can function in kingdom dynamics. Some of our “Jesus did it all” has become “Jesus will do it all.” This kind of error has now stretched out to include the idea that Jesus will make sure everybody gets into eternal redemption. Jesus did it all so Jesus can do it all: all that stuff He said we were supposed to do should be understood in a different light.
Awakening Revival and Pioneering
Immediately Awakening Revival arrives, God’s people start pioneering again! Tragically, they must start all over again with training pioneering leaders instead of having a generation standing in the ready for this Awakening season.
Well, I propose we change that circumstance immediately. I propose we revamp our systems in such a way that we produce pioneering leaders of every type and function in full anticipation of the expansion of the present Awakening so that Awakening can have the momentum needed to sustain a second and third spiritual generation.
I propose that we redefine our entire system of leadership development and preparation, redefining our measurements of success, resetting our methods of preparation, and reestablishing the elements of transformational discipling that Jesus Christ used and commanded us to use to fulfill the Great Commission.
I propose that every leader in the Body – apostle, prophet, teacher, shepherd, evangel – be trained as a pioneering leader.