The Backyard Church


As leaders we must know where we have come from, where we are, who is in our connection of relationships that leads to the future, and how does who we are today bring a life giving influence so that that life giving influence can be an increased life flow for tomorrow. This is the testimony of wisdom. I have written on finding wisdom in past blogs, but I feel inspired by God to refresh us as leaders and as members of Christ’s body in order to move forward in an expectation of life and life-giving authority.

Last week I spent the week training, activating, and facilitating prophetic words in the lives of some great young people at the G42 Leadership Academy in Georgia. When I do this I often get some great words myself. I sometimes step in front of a student in training and inspire them to declare what they see. In such a moment, a wonderful young daughter of God said that she saw me in a backyard setting and I was working on the back fence of the backyard. It was a wooden fence and I was making sure it was in good repair, but I was not making it new. I wasn’t painting the fence. I was buffering the wood to make it look as it had been. As I presented this word to God in my own personal meditation I felt that God spoke to me clearly.

I believe that 2020 is a season of living in our backyards. All through the summer I have been functioning in the backyard of my home. It is in the backyard that my garden grows, the fruit of my garden in harvested, and I reap the benefits of what grows in my plot of ground. My backyard has grape vines, apple trees, pear trees, raspberry bushes, strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, all kinds of vegetables, flowers, shrubs, and decorative plants of a diverse nature. My backyard has lawn chairs, a table, a hammock, a barbeque grill, and lots of things that pertain to enjoying life personally as well as with family and friends. My backyard represents a place of God’s presence for me in my possession of property. In 2020 I have had conversations over the fence with my neighbors, because it seems the families in my neighborhood have become backyard inhabitants in this season. I believe the church is in a backyard season. It is a season of intimate connection, but not one of performance and visible outreach. This is not a front yard season, but a time to live in the space of more personal connection with God and a few others who are close. It is a time of family, and not a time for strangers. I know that each yard that connects to my yard is also defined by the same things that are going on in my space. I can hear the sounds of children jumping on trampolines, playing with balls (that sometimes stray over into my yard) and I can smell the acroama of barbeque grills making family favorites. Everyone’s backyard is defined by the expressions of family and close relationships.

What is the significance of by backyard fence? My back fence is what defines the beginning of my backyard. Where the church is today is defined by the end of what God did yesterday. Without a visible fence in the back of my backyard, there is no defining point of where my space is now. I believe that God showed me that restoring the fence in a condition of wood that looks as it was is significant of being sure that the principles, patterns, and values of the past are not lost, but also that they are not walked out in the same activity and cosmetics as the past in the present. The methods and means of the past are not the methods and means of the present, but the principals, patterns, and values of the past must define the boarder that allows us to live as we should today. We cannot lose the gold, silver, and precious stones of the past. We can only move beyond the straw, hay, and wood of the past. I believe that the wood of the back fence represents the substance of the past that is intended to be generational in purpose, but we must find the treasures of heaven in the ground of today or we will only have the human efforts of men in what we do today. We must let go of methods, but we cannot let go of values. When we lose the past, we don’t know where we are today.

How do we attach to the things of the past with the revelation of the present? We cannot be bound to the past; we must be thrust forward because of it. It is wisdom that will keep us in the path of destiny, but where do we find wisdom?

Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words…

The New American Standard Bible uses the word street for outside. In these verses we see that wisdom is found in the street, in the open squares, in the chief concourses, and in the gates of the city. To understand these four things, we must compare them to four small creatures described by Solomon in Proverbs chapter 30.

Proverbs 30:24 There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: 25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer…

Wisdom is in the street; it is like an ant. The ant knows what season it is; it knows where it is in life by where it is in the journey of life. Is it winter? Is it summer? It doesn’t need to be told by a commander; it knows where it is in the journey of life. What time is it? What is necessary today? There will be more to do tomorrow, but what is the present season of life? We cannot understand the season of today without first understanding the seasons of the past. The seasons of the past are what brought us to the season of today. The things that are necessary today are connected to the things that have led to this moment from the past. The things that are necessary today are also connected to the things that will be for the sake of others tomorrow. To know what can be true today we have to know what has been true from our past. That is not just our past, but our multigenerational past in the journey of Christ’s destiny.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225

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About ted4leaders

Ted J. Hanson is the leader of House of Bread Ministry and Christ Life Training Ministry Academy. He has dedicated his life to raising up the generations of God with a 100-year plan to become the testimony and power of God's life and grace in the earth.
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