Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mortality and Legacy

On the morning of Thanksgiving Day in 2009 Pastor Matt Chandler (Village Church, Highland Village, TX) fell to the floor with a seizure and awoke in the hospital to discover that he had brain cancer.

What does a young pastor facing possible iminent death think a bout his mortailty and legacy?  Here's Matt Chandler:- How Cancer Has Changed Me:
It’s made me think a lot more about my mortality. For example, if I die and The Village Church falls apart, do I care? I’ll be honest, I don’t. It seems to me that when you look at history, God raises up certain men for certain seasons in certain places. He pours out his Spirit on them, and when they’re done its very rare for God to continue the work that was done uniquely through him. If I die and The Village ends, I’m alright with that. If believers here find a place where the gospel is preached, and people are being saved, and the mission is being lived out, then I will not have failed.

If I’m going to die in two years, I started asking God what I should do. I put a lot of pressure on myself because in our culture there is the expectation that a ministry has to flourish even after you’re gone. That’s unfair, unhistoric, and maybe even unbiblical. Realizing that took a lot of pressure off of me. I had peace to just faithfully do what I’ve been doing here since day one. Then just let go and see what the Lord does with it.
 Here are some related comments ( not about Chandler, but the general topic of "legacy") from Darryl Dash:
No matter how many people we pastor, our leadership and influence is temporary. We will be forgotten. Even those who rise from obscurity to become leading leaders, so to speak, will be passed over more quickly than we think.

.......I thought of a conference blurb I read. Most blurbs are easily forgotten, but this one stuck. It announced the conference lineup, including this description of one of the speakers (Daniel Montgomery):
Daniel, the senior pastor of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, says his vision statement is, ”Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten.”
I love that. That may be the best vision statement for a pastor I’ve read. Don’t aspire to rise from obscurity; aspire to attain obscurity, but preach the gospel in the meantime. That’s the type of pastor we need.