I received a phone call from a long-time friend last night. We hadn’t talked in some time, yet we were able to pick up as if we talked frequently.
He recently became pastor of his home church. It happens to be the church I grew up in as well. This church has produced numerous missionaries, pastors, ministers, and leaders over the years. It has been a sending church for decades. I don’t know the recent story, but it has lost connection with its past. The church has forgotten that it has been so successful in sending and launching people into ministry. My friend is working to change that. He is going to do it by reconnecting the people with the past so he can lead them into a bright future.
Its not about hanging on to the past. Its about honoring the past and allowing the past to propel us forward into new and exciting opportunities. There is no question that it takes change to grow. Yet, we can’t forget what has been as we change. Reading through the story of Israel in the Old Testament is a cycle of forgetting what God had done in the past and trying to move beyond reliance on Him. Every time led to judgment and pain.
It seems we are repeating the pattern today. Forgetting what God has done and where He has brought us to in the name of “progress.” We can’t have progress without a good memory. There are lessons in the past. There is wisdom. There are mistakes to avoid. There are people worthy of honor.
Yes, things change. Yes, we have to do thing differently. Yes, we have to move forward. We are not to repeat the past, but we are to remember it. We must stay connected to the past in order to have a bright future.
What are your thoughts and experiences in this area?