The church I serve at, Wentzville Christian Church, is celebrating its 50th year of ministry on Aug. 7. We’re making a big deal of it by bringing back our very first preacher Lee Erwin and then having Thomas and Sharon Rudebeck perform their Illusionist act that night. All of that will be a great deal of fun but the part that really strikes me is a video I watched yesterday of our longest standing members- Carl and Wanda Vestal.
Some of you may actually know them. They’ve been a part of this church since the mid 60’s. In the video they talked about the struggle of the early days, about not being able to meet financial obligations and how sister churches helped them. They talked about the prayers for the church and how difficult things got sometimes. But they also spoke about God leading them here and how much they loved WCC. They spoke of never imagining what would happen over the years and how it moves them to see so many people here now.
As I watched the video I was struck with the paradox that is our faith. We all play such a small role in the overall life of His church but each little part is integral to His story being told in our communities. The fact that our Creator choses to speak through us at all is amazing to me, but then to see what He will truly do when we surrender everything is awesome.
Their words stirred my spirit and challenged my walk in Christ. I have been challenged to think about my legacy. To begin thinking about what am I doing now that will leave a lasting impression on my children and my community.
When we look at the life of Christ and those that followed him we are challenged by the singular focus of spreading God’s Kingdom on this earth. They did that in actions (Paul’s missionary journeys) and with words. We can look all around us and see the legacy they left us. I’m writing to you only because the early church withstood horrors I pray I never see.
In Acts 4 we see that in the first recorded prayer of the 1st century church was not for safety (no one would have blamed them) but for boldness to proclaim His word. In the midst of arrests and killings they prayed that God would make them bolder. And because of this faith millions have heard about the name of Christ.
As I play my little part in His story, I pray that those I influence and particularly my children look back on my life and see that singular focus as well. I pray that my life is worthy of the legacy given to me by this great cloud of witnesses before me. I pray that my ministry, along with all those serving Christ in this community, lives up to the prayers of Carl and Wanda Vestal.