Building a Saintly Legacy
All Saints Day is a longstanding Christian tradition through which we remember
and reflect on the lives of those who came before us — those who helped us to build a
foundation for our faith.
It is a bittersweet occasion as we reflect on their passing with sadness, while also
rejoicing in the life they lived and the influence they had on us, particularly those who
took time to share their testimony in an effort to shape us spiritually.
As we learn from the first two verses of the 12th chapter of Hebrews, “So since we
stand surrounded by all those who have gone before, an enormous cloud of witnesses,
let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let
us run with endurance the long race set before us.”
So, what will our legacy be? How will we affect the lives of those who follow us?
As we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road, what will be the status of Oak Chapel?
What influence, if any, will our church have on the community? Will we be a vibrant and
flourishing church, or will we be languishing on the verge of closure?
No one knows for sure, but what we do know is that it is imperative for us to
continue laying a foundation for the future. We have been interrupted by the
coronavirus, but we can’t let that be an excuse. The key to the future of our church, and
all churches for that matter, is the infusion of young people and young families.
We can be faithful and prayerful that God will help that to happen, but we can’t
just sit around and wait. We must be active participants in the endeavor, welcoming,
encouraging, and sometimes even pestering young people to consider making the
church a foundational part of their life.
Bringing people into the church is a difficult, but certainly not impossible task.
However, it will never happen if we don’t first ask and invite others There is certainly
trepidation in doing so because most of us fear rejection, but if we never ask, others
may never come.
I believe that each of us has one person or one family — perhaps even members
of your own family — whom we could invite for a visit. Obviously a well-crafted “pitch”
would further enhance your prospects for a positive response.
We might begin by asking ourselves why we come to Oak Chapel. Is it the
vibrancy of worship, the allure of fellowship, the excitement of opportunity, or simply the
comfort of connecting with others in covenant with the Lord God Almighty? Perhaps it is
all of the above.
Whatever the case, it’s time to share our sincerity, our compassion, our energy,
our enthusiasm, our service, and our love for others so that they may be enticed to
make Oak Chapel their church home.
Time is running out. None of us knows what the future holds. But we can gain
assurance and peace of mind in the knowledge that our efforts to help build the
Kingdom of God here on earth are sincere, genuine, and exhaustive. That is a saintly
legacy that will bring us joy, comfort, and peace.
Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John