Of the many things I participate in is the anniversary service. Anniversary service have become a favorite of mine. They are markers of a milestone, a chance to celebrate and remember as well as a call to pass on the faith in our generation. several months I heard something done I had never heard and it has left an impact on me. Williamsburg would be one of the smaller communities in which we have a congregation. It is the leading church in the community. This small town/country church has raised over 3 million dollars in 85 years. They have given over $300,000 for World missions! Many have come to faith in Christ. Celebrating and remembering should never be done just as an exercise of honoring what was, but should force us to to reach our community today and in the future just as our forebearers modeled. There is another extreme that may be more in vogue today, namely never remembering and never celebrating and believing we are the generation that found the answers.
85 years ago the people who pitched a tent in Williamsburg Indiana and held a revival were on the cutting edge of evangelism for their day! I have celebrated with the Danville Calvary and we heard the testimony of a young lady who came to faith in Christ and is making a difference her world today. I have celebrated with Fortville, Richmond First, Indianapolis Westside and New Castle First to name just a few of the anniversary services i have attended recently. We have a tendency to honor the methodology and downplay the message and their desire to reach their generation. One of things that I think about a lot is the commitment and creativity of our early leaders and churches. As a pastor for many years I am aware of the temptation to believe that i arrived just in time to save the church from extinction. Pastors unless you are a church planter, you are following a line of God-called pastors and dedicated lay people who loved God and the church. Whereas we will use different ways today, we can honor their commitment and service. There needs to be a celebration in all of our churches for our rich heritage. Thank God for those who blazed trails but could we today renew our commitment for Christ and the Kingdom. Could we seek to creatively reach and disciple our communities?
Our Heritage can only take us so far, we must decide to serve the Lord today and minister to our generation. Some live disjointed lives and many attempt to reinvent the wheel daily. Tonight I am thankful for the heritage and the legacy of the saints, and I am committed to reaching this generation with the Gospel.