By Billy Walker
I heard a line the other day during a webinar, “The one who sees the future, will seize the future!” That could be a theme heading into the fall.
When our church family celebrated our first anniversary at our new campus, part of my message to them was on the great heritage our church has. I talked about the pastors that came before me and the legacies they left.
Like my grandpa who started our church 65 years ago. When he passed away, the church asked my dad to become the pastor. He said he’d do it until they found somebody else.
Thirty-one years later, they found me. I live in the shadow of a legacy they provided. I carry the same name as five generations of William Walkers before me. And with two daughters, it looks like it stops with me.
At times, that’s been a heavy responsibility, but for the most part, it’s been a joy and privilege and has benefited me far more than I deserve.
But here’s the deal. While heritage has its place, if we simply look at what’s happened and we’re not planning and preparing for what God has in store for the future, we do those came before us a great disservice. More importantly, we stand to miss out on what could be while we look at what has been.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus told His disciples, “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
Since gates are a defensive measure, this means the Church is the one on offense. And be honest, it’s so much more fun to be on offense. (Batting, shooting, passing, dribbling)
We’re the ones moving forward, seeking to make a difference in the next generation and beyond. That means new ideas, new ways of doing things, and new methods of outreach.
It’s a New Day.
While the message of the gospel remains the same, the approaches we use today are a lot different than the time of Acts 2. But the same God who delivered miraculous results for those early believers still desires for His Church to be on the move seeing those same results!
Since His promise still stands, nothing will be able to stop the Church. There’s nothing wrong with remembering, but we must not endeavor to relive. What happened during the first six plus decades at my church has been awesome, but it happened while the church was moving forward.
To relive means to head back, and the Church doesn’t have time to do that. See the future God has for you and your church, and you’ll be ready to seize opportunities that come your direction.
BILLY WALKER (@billyhwalker) is a third generation pastor of Calvary Church in Southgate, Michigan. He’s vice president of the Billy Walker Evangelistic Association and is president of the Pastor’s Conference for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.