“I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:1-4, NKJV)
I’ve never farmed! Although there have been farmers in my family, including my grandfather for a time, I never desired to become one. (But I have always enjoyed eating!)
When I was much younger I was just sure that I would one day have a horse ranch, but the dream dissipated quickly with the realities of life crowding that notion out. Fresh out of high school I wanted to become an accountant.
Had I chosen to become any of those, I most certainly would have sought out the advice and guidance of those I knew to be successful in those professions.
Isn’t it the same way when it comes to being a strong and useful member of the Lord’s body … becoming an elder, deacon, teacher, or preacher … or becoming the wives of these leaders in the church?
Someone took the time to teach you and me about the Lord … whether it was by example or one on one interaction and discussion. And what a wonderful and beautiful thing it is to both observe and experience!
Having had the truths of the Gospel imparted to me by my godly Mother … and by observing the same in the lives of both relatives and members of the body of Christ … one generation praising and declaring His mighty works to another … it then became my time to share that same message with each of our children!
It was our prayer that they then would share that same pure message with each of their children … and so on, and so on, into the following generations. One generation comes … one generation goes!
Look around … congregations are losing their older leaders and members … the gifted and dedicated men who have been willing to use their God-given talents and abilities to serve the Lord as well as the wives of faithful men who helped their husbands in service to the Lord.
The pandemic over the past 18 or 19 months has generated immeasurable loss to the leadership of the Lord’s body around the world!
So, ‘who will fill their shoes?’
Please hear me out … we are losing our seasoned, our experienced, our wise and knowledgeable elders, deacons, and preachers. Men who spent time in the Book … who thought about … meditated on … the truths of God’s will.
So powerful was their ability to serve in any of these works … that their examples can serve to help the next generation to walk in the right ways and to see that it can be done by having a servant’s heart and all that goes along with having the “mind of Christ!”
I’ve known so many over the years … I’ve studied with a number of them over the years … I’ve watched them over the years … I’ve learned from them over the years! I pray every day that I, myself have been a good example! May the Lord forgive me when I have not!
Every man who chooses to preach … to become an elder in the local congregation … to serve in the role of a deacon … must learn from the examples of those who have gone before them … apply what they have observed … but they must be themselves.
One generation comes … one generation goes! Who will lead the churches when the old guard has “passed through the valley” to their reward?
May we ask this relevant and pointed question: When we are gathered with generations past … who will we be gathered with?
Those who were found relegating the truth to simply ‘that’s your opinion’ … through compromising of the truth with a godless and immoral culture … or simply through indifference!
Or those who took seriously their roles as mentors and examples of what it truly means to be a child of God … and met the enemy head-on to help ensure the highest level of personal faith … faith firmly fixed in young hearts.
Are you one of those “whose shoes” will need to be filled one day because you were willing to serve the Lord “… with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind?”
Will we not all strive to give of our heart and soul to stir the hearts of others … young and old … to serve the God of Heaven?”
“Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised…”
Bill Fairchild, Jr.