I want to build on yesterday’s post by drawing some analogies to the local church. Settling or Pioneering is not dependent on a building. I was a pastor at Flamingo Road Church. We transitioned a small very traditional church into something that connected to culture. We went from a building to a school and that set the Pioneer mindset. We moved back into one building and then into a much larger one. Flamingo Road Church, under the current leadership of Troy Gramling, has never settled! I have also watched portable churches get tired and become settlers, giving up on The Mission. So here are the categories as I believe they relate to churches:
- Settlers: We all tend to move here. Settlers begin talking about maintaining, growing programs and taking care of their own. The budgets and staffing in these churches reflect this as well. Nothing wrong with those characteristics unless they define and dominate your church. Settlers make more rules and focus less on people far from God. Mind you, these are good people and most of them love God, they have just lost sight of the call of God.
- Pioneers: These churches never arrive- they stay on mission. They understand the Great Commission said GO and they live that verb out every day. They purposely change things so people don’t begin to Settle. One of the advantages of being portable, like CATB, is the requirement of large numbers of volunteers to pay the price. This builds a culture and a virus (sorry for mixing metaphors) of Pioneering. When they serve, we hope they get infected with the Go and live their life On Mission for God. Pioneers look to serve and because of that they create environments that are infected with the gospel.
I want to be a part of a church that isn’t afraid to risk it all for the kingdom. Under God’s leadership, the pastors of CATB are focused on the GO of the Great Commission.