Pastor Kevin Redding
Adult Ministries Pastor, Shiloh Community Church
A couple weeks ago, I came face-to-face with the reality of what it looks like to build a legacy. While we often don’t intentionally consider our legacy (we often think that is just what comes about from others after we die), I was reminded of the importance of living in such a way that builds an intentional and Christ-centered legacy.
I had attended a Pastor Appreciation Lunch. At the lunch I was able to reconnect with people, including a former college classmate, that I hadn’t seen for a long time. However, I had wanted to go, not for the free lunch, nor for the chance to connect with other ministry leaders, but because of the speakers, Tim & Darcy Kimmel.
I have known Tim since I was in High School, although we have never actually met. Tim was the Youth Pastor at Scottsdale Bible Church at the time, and he was the speaker at the High School Camp I attended between my Sophomore and Junior years. Tim spoke that week on being “church brats”—people who grew up in the church, knew the “right” answers, could find any book or verse in the Bible, could win every Bible quiz and “sword drill,” but yet whose faith didn’t really make a difference in their everyday lives. As he described a church brat, I knew that he was talking about me. It was if he had been watching me throughout Jr High and the beginning of High School and was directing his messages right at me. While my life wasn’t “off the rails” away from church, it wasn’t really any different than other people at school. My faith didn’t cause me to intentionally be salt and light, and I knew I was a church brat. Tim challenged me to be a difference maker for Christ, instead of the “church brat” that I was.
That week—those messages—were used by God to wake me up. It was sitting under a pine tree at Prescott Pines Camp the end of that week where I confessed that I was willing to do whatever He wanted for my life. It was sitting under that pine tree, next to my Youth Pastor, that I believe set me apart for vocational ministry. Because one man was faithful to the Word of God, regardless if he ever knew if his messages had any impact, that I am in ministry today. I still have the notes from that camp and have used them with students in 3 different churches (including at least twice at Shiloh).
In a culture where Christian leaders have risen and fallen; have spoken and been shaken; have had spiritual victories followed by moral failures; I got to once again listen to a man who has been faithful to the Gospel; faithful to the ministry; faithful to his wife. I was encouraged and reminded that when we’re faithful to God, He uses us to build His Kingdom. That’s true not just for those in vocational ministry but for every follower of Christ. Regardless of your stage in life, God will use your faithfulness to His Word to impact others. Your obedience will bear fruit, and have a significant eternal impact in people’s lives.
While I was at that lunch to be appreciated, it was more important that I had the opportunity to appreciate and thank a man who God used to move my heart and my life in the direction that He had planned. While Tim was there to encourage, I was able to encourage and thank him for being a significant part of the testimony of God’s work in my life. While he didn’t realize it at the time, he built a legacy in me that has been passed on to others.