A. Roger Merrill, in the best-selling book First Things First, tells the story of a business consultant friend who was moving into his new home. He decided to hire a friend to landscape the grounds. This friend had a doctorate in horticulture and she was extremely bright and knowledgeable.
Fred had a great vision for the grounds, but because he was very busy and traveled a lot, he kept emphasizing to [his friend] the need to create his garden in a way that would require little or no maintenance on his part. He said automatic sprinklers were an absolute necessity; he was always on the lookout for labor-saving devices and any other ways of cutting time.
Finally, his friend said, Fred, I can see what you are saying. However, there is one thing you need to deal with before we go any further. If there’s no gardener, there’s no garden!
Friends, someone years ago said, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Planning on a legacy for the church is a conscious act. We will leave a legacy of some sort, regardless. Dictionary.com defines legacy as: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. From pastors, school board trustees, church leadership and US Presidents, we will all leave a legacy.
At the bottom of this article is a cartoon entitled “Zits.” The cartoon is rather self-explanatory. In Jeremy’s case, his carbon footprint, by driving this old van with numerous environmental/carbon emitting issues, is huge. Thus, he leaves this particular legacy. I once owned a car that got 50 miles to one quart of oil. In other words, I had to start with eight quarts of oil in my possession when driving from Dallas to Corpus…this was during my Perkins Days. Edna could attest to this. The car was a real “smoker.” Not a good legacy.
We, on the other hand, will also leave a legacy. Our church buildings were built to serve a congregation and community that have drastically changed. Nevertheless, our task and mandate from Christ has not. Make disciples of Jesus Christ. Welcome everyone. Love all. Invite. Invite.
At the end, when all is said and done, what we do with what we have been entrusted with will determine our legacy. Someone once said, “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others’ lives forever.” The church is about others, our community, and mission and ministry possibilities. Folks, we are the “gardener.”
Sunday @ 5PM, Annual Charge Conference, church sanctuary. For those unable to attend and would wish your own copy, contact Melissa@fumcd.com. The report is 96 pages. You can receive this by email or hard copy.
Blessings from Duncanville,