I got to go to two funerals last week. Not many say they “get to go” to these things, but these were very nice. Both gentlemen had lived long, full lives. One was a much-loved pastor. The other was an accountant who loaned his professional expertise to many organizations, both United Methodist and secular. There were few tears at either; each was truly a celebration of a wonderful life, a life that left a clear legacy.
It got me thinking about legacies. We all leave legacies, don’t we?
Some in our churches will leave a legacy of service, the Sunday School teacher who served faithfully for decades or the usher who manned his post as long as anyone can remember. You may have a Mr. Fix-It who never receives public commendation for his work. Or someone may leave the legacy of never having had anything nice to say and stood in the way of anything that resembled change.
Are you inviting your members to leave a financial legacy? Do you have an endowment fund established to receive a gift someone leaves in his or her will? When is the last time you hosted a seminar to discuss a financial legacy with your retired members? If you have an endowment do you lift up how this money is used to support ministry?
As church leaders perhaps part of our legacy is making it possible for others to leave their own legacies, financial and otherwise.