We are pioneer women

By Shauna Pilgreen

I remember when Flourish began. Someone called from the other side of the country and let me know I wasn’t alone.

I remember a few years prior when our church plant began. Someone literally handed me a piece of rope assuring me she was on the other side of it.

I remember countless blogs written by fellow church planters and pastors’ wives right here. Someone had just run a water hose clear across the country, and my thirst was quenched!

We make a go for what God called us to do: A new church position. Seminary degree. Got a church started. Launched a ministry. Started a non-profit. Raised those kids. Went back to school.

And then it happens. “Whew! Glad we got that behind us.” What happens next is dangerous. We settle into routine. Set up church to run itself. Smile at our spouse because we’re committed to one another, right? Hand off the task to someone else because we’ve served our time. The cares of the world become dominant, and our spiritual growth and enthusiasm for His mission for our lives wane.

I’ve thought what you’re thinking right now. I hope those who are living this way are reading this blog today.

Pioneers are foot soldiers. It’s a French word for one who ventures into unknown or unclaimed territory to settle. Pioneer women don’t settle. We don’t get too attached to our homes, our salary, our children’s successes, the number of years we’ve served the Lord. We know we are susceptible to any temptation, any sin, so we fix our eyes on Jesus and cling to His Word daily. We can’t write the best story for our lives, so we surrender to His will and plan.

Wake up! We are pioneer women. Shake “easy” off of the soles of your shoes and rise up. When you said yes to God, it was an always and forever yes. Straight to the gates of heaven. It wasn’t a one and done, got my jewel for my crown. Yes, we were younger and counted the cost and chased after God on the adventure He had for us. But dare we think He’s done with us? Dare we settle in and make HGTV our standard? May we not live by Facebook alone, but on the Word of God. Woe unto us, pastor’s wives, that we led a generation to give God one yes, mark it off the list, and kick up our feet at the beach.

But I want to know God more. He’s got more to show me. In pioneering, I’ve seen God do too much. I’ve encountered such wonderful things. I’m not settling down. I want more. I want deeper. I want all of us to keep going.

“It really is possible to keep pioneering with integrity all your life — not to sell out, burn out, or settle down, but to run the race beautifully and to finish it well.” (Pete Greig, Dirty Glory: Go Where Your Best Prayers Take You)

Are you just starting out in ministry and your enthusiasm cannot be contained? Even in your new dreams and adventures, the days will become mundane and the grass greener elsewhere, and you’ll have to ask, “Will I pioneer again?”

Say yes now! Tell another woman in ministry, another pioneer woman, about your yes. Our faith community is always asking, “What is my next faith step?” Return to God and ask for His next assignment for you.

I believe this is just as true today as it was when Flourish began. Pioneer women, we are signed up to change the world, not to look like it.

Change the world. I’m doing my part in San Francisco. Where are you doing your part?

Published March 23, 2018

Shauna Pilgreen

Shauna is married to Ben Pilgreen, pastor of Epic Church in San Francisco, CA. They have busy 3 boys and are in process of adopting a precious girl from India. Shauna loves exploring her city, engaging in her community, and encouraging women. Join her on her blog at ShaunaPilgreen.com where she shares how their family lives out the Gospel in the place they call home.