Today as I got up, I started thinking on the life I have had of pioneering or forerunning. I used to think they were the same but after this morning’s reflections; I’ve concluded they are two completely different things.
When you are forerunning, you are announcing to a large group of people who are willing to follow you. Most forerunners have very large or sustainable congregations or larger groups of people already following them. The forerunner is only announcing to a group of people what has already been discovered. Generally, the forerunner is declaring revelation that has already been uncovered but is now finally ready to be received. The forerunner is not alone but has other forerunners to draw strength from. The forerunner looks extremely successful, supposedly has new revelation, numbers of followers, and enough funds to do the work. They seem to get great honor being a forerunner and are greatly appreciated for what they are doing.
Pioneering is different. You are blazing a new trail that has not yet been discovered. It’s a lot harder work because the resources of people are not there and finances are generally really stretched. Pioneers see destiny afar off and are dreamers of a better way. They are removing the obstacles off the path so the forerunners can function. The pioneer walks a pretty lonely road as there are not many around them to draw strength from. Unlike the forerunner who draws strength from followers, the pioneer must draw strength from the vision and destiny. The number of these trail blazers is low, there are not enough funds, and overall, they appear to be unsuccessful. No one wants to come down the blazed trail until it’s been completed. By then, the pioneer has moved on to the next assignment, never settling. They seem to get little honor and are unappreciated or unnoticed being a pioneer.
Over the years, I have been a pioneer desiring to be a forerunner. In all honesty, the forerunner’s followers are hungry to receive the new path, making it easier to do the work of ministry. It’s been a great journey discovering the unknown as I’ve lived a revelatory life but equally frustrating to see what is now a 5 or even 10 year old revelation for me, to be new for the forerunners. In the same moment, it is equally rewarding to know the path you cut was the right path. Yet you come back to the new path in front of you and you wonder again, will the forerunners find this new path or just settle on the path they are on. We experienced the exact same moves of God others have over the last 20 years, but God said “You can stay here and camp or you can let go of it and go deeper”. I chose the deeper while the majority camped.