The Acts of Homesteading

Homesteading. It’s not a word that we, Americans, use much anymore. At least not since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I, myself, actually had to look up the definition of homesteading on Google before officially making this blog live. It’s actually a funny story of how we came up with the name “Homesteaders.” Ashley and I were enjoying our hot tub the other night and I told her I felt the Lord calling me to start a blog about the missionary worship leader. So naturally, in my creative spirit, we had to come up with a cool name. We started throwing out random words… So random and outrageous my wife and I have deleted them from memory. But when the word Homesteaders came out… We both knew that this word captures the essence of the missionary worship leader too well. I knew enough about homesteading that this could work. And when I ended up knocking on the front door of Mr. Wikipedia’s home, I was relieved to read that homesteaders was the right title for this movement and blog.

In 1862 the US government under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln passed the Homestead Act. The intent of the act was to open land in the west in order to populate and better the land. Here is a snippet about how a homestead could be attained and whom could attain it:

“The Homestead Acts had few qualifying requirements. A homesteader had to be the head of the household or at least twenty-one years old. They had to live on the designated land, build a home, make improvements, and farm it for a minimum of five years. The filing fee was eighteen dollars (or ten to temporarily hold a claim to the land).” – Wikipedia

I think this quote gives an image that we can grab onto when conversing about the homesteading worship leader. The homesteader had qualifications to meet and a responsibility to the land he was receiving. He was to make a home, improve the land, and stick around a while; as well as expending some financial capital to secure the land and, of course, make all the improvements.

For us, as homesteading worship leaders, we can perhaps imitate these pioneers and apply these responsibilities within our own lives and ministry. When we live out our vocation as Worship Leaders beyond the stage, beyond the production, beyond the music, and into our every-day lives, and seek to be builders of spiritual family, we will without a doubt see kingdom breakthrough on the frontline of the missional frontier.

Over the next few posts, I will be fleshing out these ideas:

Homesteading Worship Leaders who…
1. Are the head of the household
2. Live on the designated land
3. Build a home
4. Make improvements
5. Farm it
6. Stick around for years

I hope this is resonating with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts thus far on the homesteading worship leader. Have you seen any breakthroughs in your neck of the woods by embracing worship and mission?

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An Introduction to the Homesteading Worship Leader

Jason is a native Californian who made it to Texas in 2007 after a 6-year taste of the Midwest.

He is the Director of Worship & the Arts for Oikos Church, Houston, TX, which he helped plant in Fall 2013. He is husband to Ashley, and father to Isabella, Iliana, and Porter. Both Jason and Ashley are spiritual parents to the Homebrewed Missional Community whose mission is to strengthen families shoulder-to-shoulder.

Together, they lead the charge at Oikos in developing a worshiping culture where God’s sons and daughters seek to imitate the words, works, and ways of Jesus as they live life on the missional frontier. A culture whose worship is transformational, authentic, and passionate when gathered together at the temple, yet goes beyond the temple walls and into neighborhoods and homes.

Leading worship since the turn of the century, he has seen and experienced many facets of this calling; yet one in particular has truly grabbed his attention and his heart: the missionary [or homesteading] worship leader. For many, leading worship begins and ends with the stage, but what if worship leaders embraced something more? Perhaps even something more significant than a Sunday-only experience? What if worship leaders became significant warriors on the front-lines of disciple-making and kingdom-building? Worship leaders possess a musical craft that many do not, so what if we leveraged it for mission and discipleship?

Join Jason as he seeks to explore a new kind of worship leader; a leader who is passionate for the Father, who is radical about community, and who is zealous for reaching the lost. A “homesteading” worship leader taking new ground for the kingdom of God in both the temple and the home.