Today is my grandfather’s 91st birthday. He – my mom’s dad – is one of my handful of earthly heroes. I’ve often said that he played a pretty sizable role in my beliefs and thoughts – particularly politically and as a lover of the South. But over the last few months, I realize another influence he has had on me.
Paw Paw has spent many years as a leader in the church. He was a deacon, and elder, a Sunday School teacher, and so many other ways. In his last few years in Covington during my first go-round on staff at Eastridge, he even volunteered in the office helping me out. He was an amazing servant leader; in fact, he was the kind of leader I want to be. My grandmother was a longtime volunteer at church as well.
Today is also Grandparents’ Day, which is one of those holidays I don’t think about until the actual day arrives. I’m reminded of my other grandfather, who was a baptist preacher. Naturally, I view him as part of my spiritual heritage too.
And then there are my parents. They made sure we kids were in church to the point where it was just what we did, part of the fabric of our family life. I remember them serving in different ways, especially after we started Eastridge.
I’ve done some genealogical research, and one branch of the family tree traces back to the second pastor of the oldest church in New York City. And, if it can be taken as fact, another branch runs back to the Biblical figure Joseph of Arimathea. So, the way I see it, my heritage of faithfulness stretches back a long way!
Today, I have the privilege of being a part of the staff of a growing church filled with people with tremendous hearts to serve and grow in their faith – including my family. I serve on a team of volunteers who give their all to their ministry. I’m humbled to see God at work in so many people around me and to be a part of what He is doing in this community and throughout the world.
Of course, God is the Source of all good things, including in my life, but I also have to give credit to this heritage of faithfulness that I can look back on before me. Without the faithful people who came before me, I don’t know where I’d be today.