John Bidwell

I have to admit that am a pioneer. 

pi·o·neer  /ˌpīəˈnir/

A pioneer is a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.  They could also be one who is the first to use or apply a new method, area of knowledge or activity. 

John Bidwell, pictured above, is the first one who comes to mind who embodies the true spirit of being a pioneer.  As the founder of our city and the man who led the first immigrant wagon train over the Sierra Nevada mountains, he was a man who was willing to take a risk to go places that were uncharted. 

Bidwell was far from perfect, but along the way he decided to give his life to Jesus Christ and some of his rough “burly pioneer man” edges began being smoothed over as the Holy Spirit began shaping him to be a husband, a business man and a protector of the Native American people of this region. 

There have been other pioneers throughout the years. 

Many industry pioneers like Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs are revered for their willingness to take risks and introduce us to things previous generations barely dreamed of doing.

Pioneers you might have read about in the Bible include Abraham, Moses, and Nehemiah.  In the New Testament we see Philip, Paul and his protégé, Timothy, as leaders moving into new regions with the Gospel. 

Some of us are naturally inclined for pioneering, and some people are more wired for establishing settlements and order – optimizing and innovating after the initial phase of discovery is over. 

A vision for the future of Neighborhood Church.

When I think about the future of Neighborhood Church, I feel more like a pioneer than a revitalizer.  It is my heart to see us move into every aspect of ministry that God has called us to in the next decade.  As I have been thinking and praying over the past year, I believe a new season is coming for Neighborhood Church.  The leadership team has been working on clarifying vision for the future and we hope to roll out the vision for the church by January of 2020.  It might sound cliché – but it’s a 2020 vision for the future of the church. 

Where might you be feeling the tug as a pioneer? 

  • Is it in your neighborhood as you build relationships and meet needs by loving your neighbors?
  • Is it relationally with your kids’ classmates at school? 
  • Are you ready to move into your gifting more fully? 
  • Perhaps you are starting a new job?

This fall season feels like the winds of change are beginning to blow.

Sailing ShipSo we're putting up the sails, buckling our life jackets, and getting ready for the adventure of the open seas...and as we sail into the future, I’m so glad I get to move ahead with this great church family. 


Andrew Burchett

Written by Andrew Burchett

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