Leaving a Legacy
By Dr. Michael Proud Jr., Director of Missions
Hello Pastors & Ministry Leaders,
Fresh on my mind is the memorial service which celebrated the life and ministry of Doyle Braden. Many people spoke and this service and recalled the impact which Doyle had on their lives. If you had the privilege of knowing Doyle, you were most likely touched by this man who was not perfect but was faithfully steady in his dedication to the Lord. This led me to think about what a legacy is and how we can leave the kind of legacy which will glorify the Lord.
I found this definition of Legacy, “The mark an individual leaves on the world represents that individual's legacy. ... It is about the richness of the individual's life, including what that person accomplished and the impact he or she had on people and places.” I do not think any of us would disagree with this definition. But this begs the question, “How is a God-honoring legacy created?”
In a world where achievement and accomplishment are highly valued, we might be tempted to think solely in this arena. And while the Lord may raise up a few individuals who accomplish great things that are widely recognized by the masses, I do not believe the results are the key. I believe the key lies in the surrendered faithfulness of an individual who chooses to honor God and trusts Him in the daily grind of everyday life. Thus, it seems to be an extraordinary legacy is created when an ordinary person seeks to serve the Lord when people watch and when they do not and then trusts the Lord with the results. I believe this is what Paul meant in Colossians 3:17 when he wrote, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
I have had the privilege of witnessing the legacy of Doyle Braden from a vantage point that no one else has experienced. I liken his life to that of a large seafaring vessel. As a pastor, I experienced Doyle coming alongside me, supporting, and encouraging me as my Director of Missions. As a moderator of the OCSBA, I watched as Doyle nudged me to the front to take a greater leadership role in the association. But when I followed him as the Director of Missions, I realized how far and wide his influence spread. Like watching that great ship from behind and seeing how its slow and steady wake rippled wider and wider and wider. It was in this role I came to see how what he did for me is what he did for countless others, and in my humble opinion, this is how you leave a legacy that honors the Lord.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Amen!