Today is my last day in Rockford, IL before I move to Chicago to begin my two years of training as a cadet in The Salvation Army. While today will be busy getting everything packed (yes, I have procrastinated), it will also be a day of goodbyes. In fact, this whole week has been a time of goodbyes: goodbyes to family, goodbyes to friends, and goodbyes to my corps.
This morning, my mom posted a lovely tribute to those at my corps who have had such a magnificent impact on my life and have shaped me to be who I am. I couldn’t even start to list the people because I know I am going to forget many. As I read this, I thought of some of those people and the legacy they have left. They took an interest and initiative to mentor me and show me what being a follower of Christ really looks like.
I had the opportunity to share about my Journey to Officership at the Central Bible Leadership Institute a few weeks ago. I emphasized that God did not call me by some miraculous “voice from above” experience. Instead, through the influence and example of officers and soldiers at my corps, God showed the path for me to travel. So many of these people of God have left lasting impacts on my life.
One example I’ll give is Norma Baker. Norma taught me the joy of volunteering! She got me, as a young kid, to volunteer for a number of programs in our community (talk about a good recruiter). She was a leader by example, but it was ultimately her love and devotion to God that shined through. In everything she did, her goal was to share the gospel and build the kingdom of God. Norma left a legacy in my life. The example that she left will continue to impact me and others as I embark into full-time ministry. Though Norma went to be with the Lord, her legacy lives on through those she influenced. I can proudly say that I have a little Norma in me!
It’s the same way with all the others who have had influences in my life. I can say that I have a little bit of them in me. They have all left a legacy in my life. As I go to the field ready for harvest, it really isn’t just me who’s going – Norma’s going, too. The soldiers and officers of Rockford Temple are going into the field because without their ministry in my life, I would not be following God’s call today.
Your life and your example has an impact on those around you. Leaders: lead with example and shine Christ’s light at all times. Disciples: be about the work of making other disciples and training them in godliness. Soldiers: serve the Lord through your corps and teach your young people what kingdom living looks like. Officers: preach the Word without shame and invest in the future of your Army.
What will be the legacy you leave?