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Your Belief System and Your Church (15): Pioneers vs. Settlers

In the days of westward expansion of our nation, the paradigm that drove the progress was “a nation from ocean to ocean.” This was certainly a new paradigm on the national scene that was not present previously during our colonial days. Many were convinced that a nation from ocean to ocean was our “manifest destiny.” However, many obstacles stood in the way of this goal. There was untamed wilderness, wild weather elements, and many natural dangers, as well as Native Americans who already possessed the land and other dominant world countries that already laid claim to vast tracts. (Please note: Applauding achievements of pioneers and settlers is not a justification for our historical negative dealings with native inhabitants.)

PIONEERS. Pioneers like Daniel Boone and Lewis and Clark took great risks in exploring unknown territories. Their adventures are well documented. Pioneers suffered severe hardships from all kinds of natural elements, ran the risk of being attacked by those who already inhabited the land, and endured the ridicule of friends and family who thought the whole exploration idea was insane. They blazed trails for settlers to follow, and probably had many days of blistered hands on the handles of their axes. However, their rewards were just as great, if not greater, than their hardships and risks. They saw brand new sights and wonders of creation unfolding from every mountain and valley. I would be willing to bet, at the ends of their lives, they wished hundreds of times to see those wonderful sights again before they died. Their rewards resulted from their willingness to take great risks.

SETTLERS. Settlers who came after the pioneers got to experience many of the things pioneers did, but seconded-handedly. Building on someone else’s first-hand experiences, they improved the trails into roads, established private properties, built settlements, made streets, and created governments and taxes. To me, being a settler is boring and not as exciting or rewarding as being a pioneer. And what is more, who ever remembers the settlers? Can you name even one of the very next persons that came after Daniel Boone or Lewis and Clark? I cannot.

Pioneers and settlers make a great analogy for today’s Christian church. Pastor, are you and your congregation pioneers or settlers? Are you open to exploring things and taking risks very different from the same-old same-old? Is your church and congregation excited about new ideas, curriculum, teaching methods, and ministry adventures? Do you foster an atmosphere of healthy risk-taking? What have you determined you will pioneer this year that is a great advancement over last year? Or are you settled very comfortably into the complacency of your pews and past achievements?

Your Belief System and Your Church: (1) Introduction

Your Belief System and Your Church: (2) Your Paradigms

Your Belief System and Your Church: (3) Bondage or Freedom

Your Belief System and Your Church: (4) Gateway Skills

Your Belief System and Your Church: (5) Teacher Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (6) Talking About vs. Doing

Your Belief System and Your Church: (7) Student Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (8) Assessment

Your Belief System and Your Church: (9) Bury Dead Tradition

Your Belief System and Your Church: (10) Teaching vs. Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (11) Teachers' Three Phases

Your Belief System and Your Church: (12) Excellence is NOT a Goal

Your Belief System and Your Church: (13) My Teaching Limits Were Their Learning Limits

Your Belief System and Your Church: (14) Unlearning Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (15) Pioneers vs. Settlers

Your Belief System and Your Church: (16) Real and Lasting Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (17) Problems With Memory

Your Belief System and Your Church: (18) Ownership Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (19) Not Perfect, But Honest

Your Belief System and Your Church: (20) Take Risks and Give Away Control

Your Belief System and Your Church: (21) Out of a Job

Your Belief System and Your Church: (22) KCAASE and Proverbs 24

Your Belief System and Your Church: (23) Responding vs. Reacting

Your Belief System and Your Church: (24) Only When Performed

Your Belief System and Your Church: (25) A Supervisor's Vision

Your Belief System and Your Church: (26) Glimpses Into the Spiritual

Your Belief System and Your Church: (27) One Reason Alone

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Hmmm.... nice parallel. Good job Dave!

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