The Heritage Paradox

One of the biggest mistakes any believer can make to hinder the progress of the gospel is to stop honouring their heritage.

There are two ways we might do this, particularly inside the Mennonite culture where I find myself.

The first is by using the resources God has given us in a way that dishonours the heart and the convictions of those who have built before us. That means not acknowledging that our predecessors paid a steep price for us to have what we have today, and not taking into consideration the advice, wisdom and experience of those who have been there before us. Those of us who are younger(see how I did that) are often arrogant and guilty of this one.

The second is much more subtle, because it actually seems to give lots of importance to heritage. It’s using the resources God has given us in such a way as to preserve the outside appearance, methodologies, buildings, structures, and musical styles of those who have gone before us, but in a way that actually dishonours the heart and convictions that motivated those pioneers to pursue their mission. Many established churches and older believers are guilty of this one.

In reality, a Christian heritage is one of being willing to risk and sacrifice everything for the sake of the gospel.

For the gospel to thrive, we need to honour the heart that motivated the missionaries, pioneers and church leaders who have gone before us to sacrifice what they had for the advancement of the gospel.

To honour the heritage that has been passed down to us means being ready to sacrifice our preferences, our comfort, our buildings, our methodologies, and our worship styles when they are keeping us from being most effective in reaching the lost.

God gives us churches and histories, not so we can maintain them needlessly, but so we can use them in order to multiply them, and so that we may by all means save some (1 Cor. 9:22).

As a younger believer , my prayer is that as I grow older, I might not become a worthless servant, content with maintaining what God has entrusted me, and that I would not build a museum to what God has done in the past, but that I would keep fighting the good fight. Not the fight about buildings, expectations, and methodology, but the fight to save the lost, whatever the risk or sacrifice.

In Jesus we already have everything, so in the end, we don’t end up losing anything.

How can you honour your heritage?

With apologies to Marc P- who started this train of thought.

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