Today's blog will be short, but we're up and running again. I'm actually not at home, but at a leadership conference in North Carolina. We have a pretty tight schedule this morning and I only have a few minutes to write, but I didn't realize how much I missed doing this. For those who wrote words of support and encouragement while our internet was down, thank you.
Here I am, sitting in the mountains of North Caroline, just south of Hayesville. There is a lake just off of the front porch, the mountains of Georgia line the other side of the lake. I could get used to this. I'm sitting in a workshop presented by Eddie Hammet, author of "Reaching people under 40 while keeping people over 60," and the life journal text this morning is the Great Commission. Coincidence? I think not.
I just can't get away from this. I don't know what God is up to, but the nudgings that I'm feeling to step out of the boat are getting stronger. Yesterday, Eddie told Sam's story. Sam is a tattoo artist in some town, I'm not sure Eddie told us where. Sam has a full bodysuit of tattoos. Not the kind of person you would expect to see on the front pew on Sunday morning. Yet, every time Sam has someone come into his shop looking for their own tattoo, he shows them one of his, tells them the story about it, and then connects his story to God's somehow. He is doing evangelism in a tattoo parlor.
Times have changed, y'all. Culture has changed. Society has changed. The Church has not.
Here's my short, candid, and probably blunt observation thus far. With current trends, unless we step out on faith, we have probably one more generation before the church as an institution is no more.
Eddie told the story of his grandfather, and the legacy he left him. It was a painful story to tell, you could see it in Eddie's eyes. His grandfather was on the board of deacons at his church. Eddie told of how he could remember his grandfather saying, before a deacon's meeting, "Well, I wonder what I'm going to get to vote no on tonight." Eddie was called to come and preach the final service in his grandfather's church years later. The legacy that was left him was that his grandfather had killed the church.
His grandmother, on his mother's side, on the other hand, left a different legacy. She was the matriarch in the church and led a group to see that her comfort, or discomfort for that matter, were not as important as the mission of the church. Because of her, that church now has a preschool program on site.
What will our legacy be? Will we be known as the ones who put our own comfort, or discomfort, ahead of the mission of the church? Or, will we be known as the one who had a vision for the future and made a difference?