- Phone: (706) 548-2246
- Mailing Address: 2390 West Broad Street, Athens, GA 30606
“[David] served his own generation by the will of God”
In this last Spring graduation season some college graduates asked, “Why didn’t we get Robert Smith to speak at our commencement?" Smith is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, an investment firm by which he has made $5 billion. Smith addressed the graduates of the class of 2019 of Morehouse College and told them, "On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we're going put a little fuel in your bus. My family is making a grant to eliminate your student loans." The nearly 400 graduates owed about $40 million in student loans, making Smith's gift the largest in school history. Smith’s gift made an impact because he gave it.
Great churches, healthy churches, growing churches focus on the next generation. This focus is guarded, modeled, and demanded by the adult generations, especially the older generations. How sweet it is to find this focus among the adult saints of God.
In one church I served, an 80-year-old deacon, a retired supervisor of a local mill, visited me at home one day. He had walked with our church for decades and gave himself to all age groups in our church, but one group captured his heart especially. During his visit at my home, he asked me “Preacher, do you know the most important people in our church?” I replied, “Marvin, tell me what you think.” He said, “The most important people in our church are those children in the preschool and children’s area.” Marvin reflected this in his service to our church and was adored by children and parents.
To bless those who are with us now and those who will come after us we must give. We can give our witness and testimony of what Jesus means to us. They need to hear of our trust and love for Jesus from all adult generations. While the institutional church we call Beech Haven is important, we do what we do for more than an institution. We do what we do for Jesus. We know Him. We trust Him. We love Him. Let’s say so by sharing our witness and testimony.
We can give of our resources generously. November and December are exciting times here at Beech Haven. As the end of the year approaches, I’m reminded we have many members who give to the budget and support missions with a flurry of giving the last two months of the year. Tommy Fountain and our Missions and Stewardship Committees are leading us in a new way of giving to missions. They will explain this in our missions banquet Sunday evening November 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm.
We can give our flexibility. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentleness/forbearance/mildness/ moderation/consideration be known to all.” This word is a word that includes all the nuances used here. Perhaps the best word is “flexibility.” Let others see your flexibility. Do not become flustered with change. Be flexible and not brittle.
Harper Lee was flexible, even towards the end of her 9th decade. Her To Kill a Mockingbird has sold more than 30 million copies and readers purchase about 1 million copies each year. On July 8, 2014 it became available for the first time in digital format, something the 88-year-old Lee resisted until 2014. She finally relented and said, "This is 'Mockingbird' for a new generation," and a new generation has caught on to the digital update of this classic work. Amazon.com lists the digital version as #3 in “Classic Coming of Age Fiction.” Lee preserved the 60-year-old message of To Kill a Mockingbird by adapting to the needs of a new, young generation. Her flexibility has blessed the young.
A gift is not a gift until we give it. What joy it is to give. If we give our witness, testimony, resources, and flexibility, we will serve this generation and the next in fine fashion.
I Stand Amazed,