Tuesday, May 24, 2005

LEGACY

Not sure there are too many better one word describers of what I hope God will create through my youth ministry than Legacy. Maybe it's carnal- but part of me is asking God to create a legacy that I'd be proud of. Ultimately I want- a legacy- not for my glory- but for God's. But still, I'd like to play a part... I'd like to say, "See that. See that. Yeah. God used me to see it come to pass." Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ." That's the goal right? That we would set an example that would cause others to see God in us, and in turn choose to follow that same God in a way that the process will self repeat. Paul says it again to his disciple in the faith- "Hey Timothy- live the faith and entrust others with faith who will carry the baton and pass it on."- 2TI 2:2 -my summary.

Well, every once in a while I get a glimpse at the Legacy God is leaving through me. Sometimes it's less God and more me and isn't much to be proud of. In those cases, I fall to my knees and pray for God to work anyway. Every once in a while though, the Legacy makes me smile and fall to my knees and thank God for answering the "please God work anyway prayer".

Last night at midnight I got a call from a former student in my youth group- now a young man and a great friend, who called to tell me that he had been recognized by his peers as a spiritual leader and would be taking over the job of chaplain of a fraternity that I had the privilege of helping found at UC Davis. As the founding chaplain of that fraternity, I felt it was my job to give the baton of leadership to the next chaplain as I graduated and to pass the baton to others. That baton was placed in Matt Jurach's hand initially. He carried it and placed it in another guys hand who did the same. That baton has been passed numerous times since then. Well, last night it was given to Max to carry next year. Wow! Who would have thunk that God would use me to start something that eventually would come round full circle to a student in my youth ministry- 12 years later. I was so blessed and so encouraged. Thanks for the call Max. You are the man! If you know him. Click on his name and give him an "atta boy".

2 weeks ago I got a call at 10pm while leaving church on a wed night and it was a former student, now a youth pastor, who answered the phone this way. "Hey Paul- it's your Timothy- I have a question for you." I don't think I could ever receive a nicer compliment. We talked for 45 minutes about a tough youth ministry decision. We prayed. I was blessed.

Several months ago- I got a phone call from a former intern in student ministry who called me and said, "Brian, I wanted you to be the first to know. I got into the Sheriff's academy!" We laughed, we cheered, we cried. He called me before he called his parents. I was honored. I am honored. I can't believe the blessing of long term friendship some days.

I wish I had volumes and not just pages of those stories- But those are the relationships I treasure the most actually. It's the relationships that I maintain over years of ministry with those who have stood the test of time and kept the faith. It's students like Trevor, Buch, Peter, Kyle, Lindsay, Matt, Jared, P Rowe, Rhianna, August, Cassidy, Amanda, Angela, Max, Daryl, Alyssa, Kai-ping, Andrea, ... those are just some of the students who came full circle as I think over the last decade plus. They got involved initially as high school students and have stayed faithful as adults to serve Jesus in a lot of professions. They are carrying the baton and it's a joy to call them friends today- friends who stay in touch and bless one another regularly. I can't imagine the joy it will be to see those friendships 20 years from now. It's a reward I never knew when starting ministry I'd get. Now it's the rocket fuel that keeps me going on dark days. It's those moments that remind me why I do what I do.

4 comments:

Max Critchfield 9:47 PM  

no words. just love. thanks B.

brian c. berry 11:25 PM  

I feel the love. run the race Max.

christina 12:23 AM  

yay!! i love you too kid. so blessed by you and your friendship... so blessed to carry the big fat huge baton you passed to me... while burdensome, it's been such a joy. What's delight without a little pain right?
again... love you.. peace... and max, you're wicked!

trevor 8:23 AM  

Thank you for challenging it, changing it and living it. You have been blessed to be a blessing.
-T

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San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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