As we move ahead over the next few weeks into a new ministry of Fair Avenue Baptist Church we must ask ourselves some pointed and difficult questions.
What are we doing right here,
for our little ones,
for the next generation?
Think about it.
What are we doing TODAY, in our church, for the year 2010 or 2020?
What are we doing TODAY to prepare our church for our children in the next 25 years?
What am I doing TODAY financially to help my church to prepare for the next generation?
Often, as parents, we think about leaving an inheritance to our children. We think about leaving them some kind of inheritance money or something.
But, when it comes to our church, we need to think about an inheritance, a heritage.
Can we say with the Psalmist in Psalm 16:6, “I have a goodly heritage.”
Think with me for a few minutes this morning as I ask a lot of questions.
1. A SPIRITUAL HERITAGE
What kind of spiritual inheritance, spiritual heritage will we leave our children, our grandchildren?
Will my children be able to say, “I have a goodly heritage?”
My dad was a good man,
He was a godly man,
He knew his Bible,
He took us to church,
He was actively involved in OUR church,
He gave generously to OUR church.
My grandpa was a good man,
A spiritual man,
Was here at church every time the doors were opened,
Nothing interfered with church,
It always came first,
He taught Sunday School for 35 years,
He sang in the choir,
He gave to missions,
He was always on a mission conference team,
He was a deacon,
He loved the preacher,
He never cussed,
He never drank alcohol.
My mother was a godly woman,
I never heard her gossip or talk about anyone,
She was never bitter or discouraged,
She was always involved in OUR church,
She dressed right,
She lived right,
She talked right,
Sang in the choir,
Taught a Sunday School class for 30 years,
She left me a “goodly heritage.”
My grandmother was a godly woman,
I never saw my grandmother in a pair of pants or shorts, she didn’t own any,
I never heard my grandmother gossip or talk about anyone,
She was faithful to church,
Walked to church every service because they didn’t have a car and the church didn’t run buses,
I bet my grandmother would have made a good bus captain,
She was involved,
She left me a “goodly heritage.”
What are my children going to say about me?
What are my grandchildren going to say about me?
What will be my SPIRITUAL HERITAGE?
2. WORKING HERITAGE
What will my children say?
“I’ll tell you one thing, my parents believed in the work of the ministry.”
What will my grandchildren say?
“My grandpa went to this church for 45 years before he passed away.
When he started here, there was only a handful of people.
But he and grandma got busy serving the Lord. They helped this church grow.
And the church grew and grew. It grew from just a handful to running over a hundred.
I’m so proud of my grandparents and their part in this church.”
What will my children say?
“My parents have been members here for 25 years.
They have been faithful for all those years.
They taught Sunday School. There are young men in this church today who my mother taught in first grade.
My dad drove a bus. We have ushers in our church who are grown men now but they rode one of our buses when they were nine years old.
My parents went visiting every week. They invited people to church. They were always talking about how good God was and how God was blessing the church.
They visited their Sunday School classes. They visited the bus routes. They visited prospects and converts.
They worked hard to help this church grow. And it has grown.
When my grandparents started, there was only a handful. They worked hard and the church grew. And then after my parents got married and started working in the church, the church grew even more. We now have over two hundred in church every week.”
YEP, my grandparents and my parents,
who were good people,
they left me a spiritual heritage,
they left me a heritage of faithfulness,
a heritage of hard work in the church.
“A GOODLY HERITAGE”
3. FINANCIAL HERITAGE
Not only did my grandparents and parents leave me a spiritual and working heritage in OUR church, they left me a financial heritage as well.
Matt. 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
They tithed faithfully,
They gave to missions,
I mean, they really gave, not this $5 a week stuff, I mean, it was nothing unusual for them to give $20 or $30 a week to missions,
that’s over $1,000 a year to missions,
They gave to building campaigns,
They gave to Owe No Man,
They gave to Vision Unlimited,
They sacrificed to give,
They contributed financially,
They contributed faithfully,
They proved their love.
They left me a heritage,
A heritage of giving,
“A GOODLY HERITAGE.”
My grandparents were faithful,
My parents ARE faithful,
They are faithful to attend,
They were involved and because of their involvement, their “goodly heritage,”
I’m sitting in a nice building,
“Hey, look here. See this plaque. That’s my grandparents and my parents. They have been giving faithfully to the building programs of this church for years and years.”
From .... 20,
45 years ago....
PAVED THE WAY FOR ME AND MY FAMILY!
I’m sure the founding fathers of Fair Avenue Baptist Church dreamed of sitting in church with their children,
watching them grow physically and spiritually.
I’m sure that Billy Melton and Ben Young looked forward to the day that they could sit in church with their grandchildren.
I’m sure that Bro. & Mrs. Melton and Bro. & Mrs. Young dreamed of singing in the choir right along side of their children.
I’m sure those founding families dreamed of watching their grandchildren grow up in the Youth Department.
They had to have a dream,
They had to have a vision.
And because they had a dream,
And because they had a vision,
They gave it all they had,
They gave it the best they had.
But it had to start with someone somewhere.
And it might have to start with you.
You may be the one that starts a “goodly heritage” in your family.
My grandmother started a “goodly heritage” for my mom and it passed down to me.
But many of you didn’t have that privilege.
So, you are going to have to begin that heritage.
You are going to have to have a dream for your children and your grandchildren.
A spiritual heritage in your church,
A working heritage in your church,
A financial heritage in your church.
I was thinking the other day and realized that only a handful of people have been here longer than I have.
My family and I have been here for more than twelve and a half years. Only a handful of people can say that they have been members longer.
I want a heritage for my children, for my grandchildren.
If God will allows,
And I’m praying He will,
I want Rachael and Richard back here working in our church on our church staff.
I want to be able to go to church with and work in the church with my grandchildren.
I would love to see my grandson working on a bus route one day.
I would love to see my granddaughter singing in the Teen Choir.
“A GOODLY HERITAGE”
But it will never happen without a:
And those led to my last point:
4. FACILITY HERITAGE
I refuse to believe that the founding fathers of this church said, “Well, I hope the church never grow too much.”
“Well, I sure hope we’re meeting in this same auditorium forty years from now.”
“I hope my grandkids don’t attend this church.”
I refuse to believe that.
I believe they looked forward to God’s blessings on this church.
I believe they wanted to be part of God’s blessings.
In 1964-65, in the beginning, they bought just this corner lot here.
And they built a church for the glory of God.
And then they bought some more land. And then another parcel. And then another parcel until they had bought up all the available land and today we have just under 5 acres.
They could see another building one day.
They could see more building so they got more property.
They didn’t get all this property just to have something to mow.
No, they had a vision,
They had a dream.
They could see a new auditorium one day,
They could see more Sunday School rooms,
They could see more and more buildings,
They could see a “goodly heritage.”
What will our kids say one day after we’re dead and gone?
Will they talk of our spiritual heritage?
What will their testimony be about us on our Church’s 75th anniversary in the year 2039?
Will they talk of our hard work in the work of the ministry in our church?
Will we leave a “goodly heritage?”