This past week I brought my kids to a vacation bible school at the church I grew up in. On top of that, the family life pastor and children's minister are both friends of mine who I'm honored to support so a couple of times through the week I was able to help out in small ways or just be behind the scenes observing. It was fun but really cool to be able to do that and especially do that with my kids attending.
During one of the final group gatherings for the week all the kids, kindergarten through fifth graders, came back into the worship center and during some music were hitting some inflatable balls around. I would say it was organized chaos but it was more chaos than organized. It was AWESOME! In fact, my daughter said that was her favorite part of the day. I happen to be sitting in the very back looking on, probably with a big smile on my face, just enjoying seeing the kids having fun. The lady sitting next to me was someone who's known me longer than I've known her. Good friends with my parents and grandparents and been a part of this church a long time. You could tell by the look on her face it was all a bit overwhelming to her. She leaned over to me and said "your grandparents are probably rolling over in their graves right now." I leaned back towards her and said "no way. Maw Maw and Paw Paw would love this!" I think my answer kind of caught her off guard.
You see, my grandparents were awesome! They loved Jesus but they loved seeing people love Jesus. Of a "that music is too loud" generation, my Maw Maw bought my brother his cymbals for his drum set because it was one of the things he used to lead worship. Did they always enjoy "different styles of music" or "parties in the worship center?" No, but they always saw the value in them. I think they are probably a big reason I still love singing hymns as much as any other worship music. My grandparents were about Jesus!
What this got me thinking about is the legacy my grandparents left behind. How much I am the man I am because of them. What it also got me thinking about is, am I leaving the same legacy? The day may eventually come when I think the "music is too loud" or " they shouldn't be doing that at church." I hope not, but it might. Will I see the value in ministers and ministries seeking to reach younger generations or will I fight them?
I think much of that answer depends on me now. The ministers and church leaders when I'm old and gray are the ones we're developing now. Probably even more true, they're the ones the leaders we're developing now are developing.
Herb Hodges describes it something like this in his book "Tally Ho, The Fox!" When you get to your ten year high school reunion you'll get asked questions like how you've been, what you're doing these days, are you married, and do you have kids? At your twenty year it will be how many kids, how old are they, what are they up to? If you get to go to your thirty or forty year reunions the question will turn to grand kids. If you're fortunate to make fifty years the question of great grand kids may come up. Mr. Hodges says that will probably be along the lines of questions when we see God. Do you have spiritual children, grand children, great grand children? Are making disciples to make disciples? Are we raising leaders to develop more leaders?
I'm so grateful for my family, the good, the bad, and the knock-down, drag-outs... This one is for Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw though. The funny thing is, it's really not. They're lives were about Christ and the legacy they leave is about Christ. It's just now up to me, up to us to continue the legacy that's been handed to us. One day may our grand children think fondly of us but more than that may they think "I'm leaving a legacy of Christ in my children because of my grandparents."