I have been writing some of the history of the church I serve and found a humorous story. I was reading at the handwritten history that was read at the 100 year anniversary of our church in 1925. Miss Jessie Cuthbertson talked about David Imbrie who was the pastor of my church from 1806-1808. Apparently he traveled around as a pastor since my church was not even an official congregation until 1825. Miss Cuthbertson said this about Pastor David:
“It is said Mr. Imbrie was a very large man, weighing over 300 pounds; and when going any
distance always took two horses. He would ride up to a shouse and get the inmates to assist
him in changing horses, for if not careful, he would fall off the other side. “
What a legacy! After 117 years he was remembered for being so overweight that he had to have 2 horses and had to have strangers help him on to the other horse when one tired out.
As I think about “The 2-Horse Pastor” as I call him I began to wonder what my legacy at this church might be. What will I be remembered for? Will I be remembered, or will I become like some of the pastor’s who are never spoken of? It is as if they pastored there but were never really the pastor.
Why should a pastor care about their legacy? I think that all pastors need to see themselves as stewards. Unless we close the doors then someone will follow us. Some may have to leave soon, some may stay a long time, but sooner or later we will all hand over the reigns to another.
I don’t care so much that I am remembered. (Honestly, some days I do more than I should!) I would actually prefer that Christ be remembered as being active in my ministry. I would rather be a spotlight pointing to Jesus than be in the spotlight myself. Following Christ may mean that I do some things that are not popular. But I hope I am remembered for more than needing 2 horses.
We stand in a critical times for our churches. Those who were leading at the time of the reformation are remembered and revered because they led when the world and the church were training. We are leading the church in that kind of moment. What will our legacy be?