What’s Your Spiritual Heritage?

By Jake E., Southwest Coordinator, MissionConnexion 

Have you ever thought about the spiritual heritage of the area where you currently live?  For example, who was the first person to come to your city (or state) and share the Gospel? Or which church was the first one to get started?

While I was at church the missions pastor said something to the effect of, “we all can trace our spiritual lineage to a missionary who was willing to share the Gospel by crossing their own particular culture to a different context.” As a follower of Jesus, we can all trace our spiritual lineage back to a missionary who was willing to make a sacrifice and travel to a particular culture to share the Gospel.

Did you know that one of the first missionaries that brought the Gospel to Arizona was a circuit rider by the name of Alexander Groves? A circuit rider is one who was commissioned and sent out by the Methodist church around the 1700’s and 1800’s. Many times, they traveled on horseback to new communities. Circuit riders would help establish churches or preach the gospel in unreached communities.

Alexander came to Arizona from California around 1870 and started the first church service in downtown Phoenix under some Mesquite trees on the banks of the Salt River. Think of the courage, bravery and fortitude Alexander had as he crossed the Mojave Desert and into the Sonoran Desert on horseback!

In many ways the spiritual heritage of Arizona can be traced back to a bold man who was willing to traverse the desert to share the Gospel. In my humble opinion we can be grateful for his selflessness, bravery and courage.

As a ministry in the Southwest, we have been incredibly blessed by the Gospel and want to steward our calling to be a blessing to other communities that have not yet been influenced by the Gospel. In fact, we have a desire to see 500 well-trained, well-equipped, Spirit-led cross-cultural workers sent out to the unreached communities where the Gospel can take root and flourish.

Luke 12:48 reads, “To whom much is given, much is required.”  We no doubt have been influenced by our spiritual fathers and mothers here in the Southwest. What are we going to do to help reach others who need to hear this Good News?

Join us this coming November 3 – 4, 2023 at Grace Community Church in Tempe, Arizona for MissionConnexion Southwest. You will have the opportunity to “Write Your Story” of being a spiritual leader to people and places not yet reached by the Gospel.