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The Pygmy Way

• Greg Boyd

It is the 20th anniversary of Woodland Hills Church! In this sermon, Greg goes back to the foundations and history of this church, and shows how dependence upon God has been a mainstay of the culture at Woodland Hills Church.

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Sixteen years ago, Greg was at the Pentagon preparing a sermon for the generals and other staff there. If you know anything about our church, Greg probably won’t be invited back anytime soon. Anyway, Greg was having trouble with this sermon, so he went to the chapel and two diminutive African people came into the chapel. Greg thought they might be pygmies.

They were a male and a female, and they were really animated as they walked into the chapel. The female seemed to have stomach pain. The man said, “The Devil doesn’t like that she got the Holy Ghost, we gotta pray him out!” Greg really just wanted to be alone, but it obviously wasn’t going to happen, so he started praying. The man started yelling at the woman’s belly, “Get out of there!” And he wanted Greg to yell too, so Greg yelled at her belly. After five minutes, the woman popped up and was feeling tremendously better.

This struck Greg, because here in the center of power in America were two small, overlooked, and misunderstood people and the Holy Spirit was doing powerful things through them. And Greg got a word from God that we were supposed to follow the pygmy.

Throughout the story of Woodland Hills Church, we’ve seen this pygmy like nature of the Kingdom. Whether it is our odd church structure, or our lack of plans, our dependence on the Spirit or the way Greg preaches, we seek to follow God day by day. We cut against the culture of American Christianity. We try to love our enemies and instead of standing on others, we seek to lift others up. The power we exhibit isn’t of this world. And we seek to do even more in the future as follow the pillar of fire that is God.

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Topics: Calling, Leadership, Power

Downloads & Resources

Audio File
Study guide

Focus Scripture:

  • Exodus 13:21-22

    By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

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6 thoughts on “The Pygmy Way

  1. Teresa says:

    Aw, I remember the original “Follow the Pygmy” sermon. I’m pretty sure I have the cassette tape in my car to this day 🙂 Interesting how the Pygmy had that much power, authority and anointing yet he was a very small man and not an executive leader(1 cor. 12). What a precious, powerful, faith-filled…and faith-building teaching! Thanks for discipling us through sharing it again.

    May we see fruit as we all re-learn to follow the pygmy!

    “the Kingdom starts where we stop” -Boyd


  2. Laura says:

    There is something so wonderfully encouraging about hearing other people’s stories. Our church is 7 years old and we are hoping to be able to settle in to a more permanent building soon. We didn’t really start a church the way you are supposed to either, so this resonated on many levels.

    I loved this. Thank you.

  3. Dave says:

    Just listened to “Follow the Pygmy” so fitting with the series Greg Boyd just taught.

  4. Gini says:

    I’m so Thankful to God for ODD , Greg !

  5. Samala says:

    Hi-I remember having that cassette tape. Follow the Pygmy was on one side and on the other side was historical accuracy of the Scriptures. Does anyone have an MP3 version of that cassette tape that I can get a download of ? That sermon about the historical accuracy of the Bible was incredible and I’ve never heard anything else quite like it and would love to get my hands on a digital copy.

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