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By Nikole Hahn 

When I’ve read about pioneers, I might have imagined their life differently, like Thor Heyerdahl, who was forced to prove that “ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between societies.” The data he compiled wasn’t enough. Thor had to do the hard work to prove his theory by raising the funding, going to Peru, finding the proper logs to cut down, floating them down the river, and taking much risk. In 1947, he built a raft and sailed 5,000 miles with a small crew to live and prove his theory. He didn’t even know how to swim. That’s a pioneering commitment!

In the middle of pioneering, it just feels like work unless I take a 30,000-foot look to remind me where I have come from, where God is taking me, and open my eyes to what He is doing with it.

Tracking data and stories, training people, and managing WorldVenture’s online platform can make you feel like one of those hikes where you are hacking away at the underbrush just to make it two feet farther along up a mountain. It’s stories like these from people I’ve trained or am currently training or mentoring that encourage me.

Trudy Kannenberg attends The Outpour in Loving Life in Toccoa, Georgia. She is not only trying to build a digital church team but has also taken on managing the church’s social media presence as a volunteer.

“I’ve recently gotten reminders that we do not know the reach of our influence. Emojis and comments are not reflective of the audience God places in front of us.” Trudy said. “I needed to be reminded of that. Last week during a time of blessing at my birthday party, I heard from three different people about the impact of my online presence in their lives. One reads my posts every day and finds a question or viewpoint that gives him something to ponder throughout his day. He also said he prays for God to enlarge the audience. Another person said that she is encouraged by these things and prays the Holy Spirit breathes on and sends out the message to unknown reaches. Yet another said he sees value in what is happening online. This morning a young Ugandan evangelist we know quite well said he is ministered to by my posts. He takes the time each day to read that and the passages at the end of the post. And he also prays for Kingdom impact.”

What you don’t know about Trudy is that she posts in three places:

Being a pioneer is challenging and worthy work. With most small to medium churches struggling to find their way in this new normal, it is the pastor who does the majority of the online work in addition to a million other things. This is why I believe heart transformation comes from people like Trudy, who use their social media to help her church make disciples worldwide. Most pioneers will build their raft and only have a small crew to sail with, but it’s not the numbers that matter, but the heart of that crew. Once in a while, though, take a 30,000-foot view look at what God is doing, and be encouraged.

Discussion Questions: 

Copy this blog link and share it to your social media with an answer to one of these questions…

  • What do you see God doing in your ministry or at your church? Remember to look for the small things, too.
  • What do you see God doing in the world? Be specific.