This past weekend I have been privileged to be a part of the Legacy Weekend with Max Dawson at the Campbell Road Church in Garland, Texas (in the Dallas area).
Rickie Jenkins serves as both a preacher and one of the Shepherds for this vibrant church along with a fine young preacher, Jordan Shouse.
On Sunday morning Rickie reflected on his 30+ years with this church which has been in existence for 60 years. The church has grown significantly through the years and numbers today around 400. But their strength is not in their numbers but in their spiritual development. Their discipleship. Their relationship with one another and the Lord.
Rickie recounted the names of those older members who’ve now gone on to their reward whose legacy lives on. Whose commitment, sacrifice, and dedication to the cause of Christ has contributed to the success of the church. The current Shepherds and a host of senior saints have continued to carry the baton forward.
Our weekend was focused on honoring the legacy of those older Christians and to encourage them to continue running the race. To keep on keeping on. To press forward. And to pass on this legacy of faithfulness to future generations.
This experience has left me thinking more and more about legacy. My legacy. Your legacy. The legacy of brethren in so many places around the globe.
In the past 4 years we’ve visited some 50-60 churches. I’ve lost count. Some large. Some small. Some in fine modern buildings. Others in older facilities. A couple meeting in store fronts in a strip shopping center. Some in existence for just a few years. Others who began in the mid 1900’s. And one dating back to the 1800’s where Alexander Campbell once preached. But they all have one thing in common.
Wherever you attend church, it exists because of past preachers, teachers, Shepherds, and faithful Christians who preached the Word. Shared their faith. Stood for Truth. Resisted compromise. Raised godly families. And sacrificed their time, talent and treasure to insure the success and growth of that local fellowship of God’s people.
Never forget the legacy that has been bequeathed to you and your church family. It’s easy to take it for granted. It’s easy to see an older person and think of them just as an older person. And forget their years of toil. Their work of faith. Their labor of love. And their patience of hope (1 Thess. 1:3).
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that the legacy of a church is the collective legacy of individual members and families who have left a legacy of courage. Character. Charity. And commitment. Those of us today who enjoy the blessings and benefits of a Christian community owe a debt of gratitude to our spiritual forefathers.
Reflecting on this legacy also raises the question, what legacy are you leaving for your children? Your grandchildren? For future generations?
The wise man wrote, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Prov. 13:22). This must mean more than just a financial inheritance.
Will you leave the legacy of a good name? A reputation for honesty and honor? Of godly convictions? Of principled behavior?
The Bible offers these legacy insights that ought to inspire and encourage us.
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.” (Prov. 22:1).
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD Who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.(Ps 112:1-2)
‘We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.” (Ps 78:3-4)
The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.” (Prov. 10:7)
This kind of legacy will be the result of holding and instilling values that glorify God, bless the lives of others, accept personal responsibility, and pursue a noble purpose.
What legacy are you leaving for future generations?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman