All of us as leaders will leave behind our legacy someday
Death is not the final chapter of our life, is it? A key understanding of faith for a believer is that life lasts an eternity.
When we die, we leave stuff behind. We leave behind the possessions we acquire here. We leave behind any unfinished business. We leave behind our memories—the painful and the pleasant memories. The word for all we leave behind might be called our legacy.
This may be a morbid way to start a leadership message. The truth is, if we as leaders don’t understand the principle of the legacy we leave behind, we may leave a mess for others to clean up after us!
Leaving a healthy legacy may be one of the most important things a leader can do.
I came into ministry in my late thirties, after many years in the business world. Our first church had fallen on hard times. I tried to provide good leadership to help the church grow again. I cast vision, got people excited, celebrated along the way, and sent the people of the church back into the community to spread the good news and invite people to church.
Those are some pretty basic church growth techniques. And, it worked. The people went to work, God moved, and the church saw fairly impressive growth numbers—more than doubling in size from when we arrived.
We were pumped.
I had only committed a year to the church, because it was a long drive from our home and we never felt led to move to the city. Upon my exit, the church struggled with some of the same issues they had before I arrived. There were internal power struggles and questions of how things would be done and who was in charge. Within the first couple years, the church had suffered a split and was back to the size it was when I first arrived.