I never met my grandfather. Everything I know about him I’ve heard second-hand.
He was a man whose large physical stature was matched by his outgoing personality.
By day he was farmer who raised tobacco and by night he sold homemade moonshine.
He loved his family and he loved to hunt.
From everything I can tell, he was like many other hard-working Americans of his generation, doing his best to provide for his family.
But the most important thing I know about him is that one day he made a critical decision that not only altered his life, but the lives of many generations to come.
At the age of 35, my grandfather gave his heart to the Lord and shortly thereafter surrendered to the call to become a preacher.
His moonshinin’ days were over. He turned them in for something even more potent.
From the rooftop of his barn, he started his very first church. And for the next 20 years prior to his death, he preached the gospel faithfully, leading hundreds of people into relationship with Christ and impacting many more.
At his funeral, hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects to this “giant” of Christian faith.
Here are 3 important lessons about faith that I’ve learned from his life:
You don’t have to be ready, you just have to be available.
Whenever you operate in a spirit of humbleness and obedience, God will use you.
Education, income level, talents…none of that matters. God is bigger than your circumstances and He always gets the glory when you are obedient.
In your Christian walk, seldom do you know all the steps.
When my grandfather preached his first sermon from the rooftop of his barn, I doubt he realized the eternal impact that he would ultimately have.
And I can almost guarantee he was scared.
But neither fear nor uncertainty disqualifies you from ministry.
In fact, a certain level of both is healthy. It forces you to pray and continually seek the face of God.
You don’t have to know all the steps, just the first step. God will reveal the rest.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Decisions you make today have an unseen and eternal impact.
My family’s legacy looks substantially different today than it did over 50 years ago when my grandfather gave his heart to the Lord.
When I look around I see generations of pastors, church leaders, and people who serve faithfully in their local congregations…
…And it all started with one man’s faith.
Your faith has the ability to either bless future generations or curse them. When you leave this world, it’s the only thing that matters.
I want to encourage you and challenge you to begin thinking more generationally.