On the first Sunday of March, my church hosted a service devoted completely to music. Halfway through the service, the senior pastor threw the published schedule out the window and surprised the congregation by devoting the rest of the service to honoring a staff member.
For 30 years, Louis Harris has served as the minister of music at Christ Chapel Bible Church. He is the only person to have held the position since the church was founded. Week-in and week-out, he leads the charge of carrying out the churches core value of “honoring Christ through the pursuit of excellence in every area of this ministry” by directing a large orchestra in the traditional services.
As I listened to speakers and video interviews from different church members, it became abundantly clear that Louis would be remembered for so much more than top-notch music. One after the other, these church members praised Louis for his love of the church’s people and enthusiasm towards his job. The impact he had on the church’s musicians went well beyond helping them hit the right notes. He made a mark on countless lives, and for that he won’t be soon forgotten.
I sat in the second pew from the back in the main sanctuary, leaning forward, hands under my chin, soaking up every word these interviewees and speakers shared. I felt the weight of this man’s impact and a stirring in my heart to strive to be a man of comparable influence. I was enthralled by the way the Lord chose to use this man.
Memorials, funerals and the like always lead me to intense introspection. These events challenge me to examine the impact I’m making here and now and the legacy I will leave behind me. What will people say about me in 30 years? What will my family, friends and acquaintances say about me at my funeral? These questions both captivate and motivate me.
As a fraternity, we host such a commemorative event in Legacy Weekend. Though the annual event is still in its infancy stages, it has already become a chance to reflect on how the Lord used the men that came before us. Older brothers get to come back and see what they began to build in prior years, and current members get to honor them for that.
More than that, Legacy Weekend is an in-your-face reminder that your time in BYX will be commemorated and remembered. What will people say about your era? What will people say about you in the Legacy Weekends to come? In five, ten, 20 years, will you be able to stand before the men in the chapter in good conscience and say, “I gave it my all to help you have the experience you are having.” Live in light of the legacy you want to leave. Start now.
Four chapters will celebrate landmark anniversaries this year. TCU, Texas A&M, UNT and Arkansas will celebrate their 25th, 20th, 15th and 10th anniversaries, respectively. We look forward to celebrating the brothers who have done their part to bring these chapters to a place of health and longevity, while challenging the current brothers to take the baton and run the next leg.
Leadership guru John Maxwell speaks of the law of legacy in his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” He challenges readers to both know and live the legacy you want to leave. It starts with a heavy dose of forward thinking to realize what you want to be remembered for, followed by diligent, daily efforts to work towards that end.
You may not be remembered as an individual in the years to come, but your impact will live on, for better or for worse. Will you leave a legacy of adding to a problem, solidifying a negative culture and weakening the fraternity, or are you going to be a part of the solution? In 30 years, what will people have to say about this season of your life?
Ultimately, you could do all the right things and be remembered by no one. Your waves may be small ripples. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you and your Savior will both know the legacy you left. Strive daily to leave a positive legacy, and, even if no one else knows the mark you made, you can be encouraged knowing you did your part.