Well Done: Legacy vs. Loyalty

By Guest Contributor January 8, 2015

By Brad Widstrom

A long-time member of the Denver Seminary Board of Trustees recently died. Not only was Jud Carlberg a key member of our board, he also served in a number of other national leadership positions. And this was all on top of his day job: 35 years at Gordon College, including 20 years as its president.

As I read a recounting of Jud’s life on the Gordon website, I was struck by his legacy, his enormous lasting influence. Some of it I knew because we’d shared the last 15 years of Denver Seminary’s journey together, but much of it was new to me. Here was a man worthy of the many human accolades that came his way. Yet I am confident that the thing he longed for most—more than prestige or reputation or a list of achievements—was to stand before Jesus and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

That is what drove Jud as he diligently labored for the kingdom. Sure, he was intellectually sharp, spiritually mature, and highly gifted. And yes, Jud was a visionary leader who knew how to set goals; recruit, train, empower, and release people into their areas of giftedness; and accomplish things most of us can only dream of. But he did not pursue his God-given calling for human reward or praise. He knew who saved, called, and worked through him. He knew that all he did should be for the glory of God and the furtherance of God’s kingdom work on earth. That’s how Jud lived his life. That’s how he raised his children. And that’s what he modeled to the many of us who crossed his path.

legacyvsloyalty_quote1There’s a lesson for us in Jud’s life. God is not concerned with how many lock-ins we lead. He doesn’t care if our youth group has 7 kids or 207. It matters not in the big picture if your ministry trip is to Haiti, urban Denver, to rake leaves in Grandma Rodstol’s backyard, or even to scrub the porcelain in the church bathrooms. We may think that Pastor Natalie’s role overseeing three youth ministries in a multi-site context is holier than the work of volunteer leaders who labor away in the basement of a small country church. And when some of you had that first article published or received that first book contract, God wasn’t impressed. He is looking for something in our lives and ministries that we all can—and must—strive for: faithfulness.

Are you being loyal to the calling God has placed on your life? Are you faithfully using the gifts he has given you? Are you more concerned with God’s opinion or what men and women will one day write about you? Not many of us will be Jud Carlbergs, but we all have the same task he did: to be faithful in who God made us, what he called us to do, and where he placed us.

Be faithful my friends.

CC Image courtesy Brayden_lang on Flickr.

About the Author

Guest Contributor

The LeaderTreks Blog is proud to share the hard-earned wisdom of student ministry leaders from many different backgrounds and professions. From time to time, we will feature guest blog posts from writers other than our regular contributors. We include these posts to provide additional perspectives and insight that we’re sure will help develop you and your ministry…  Read More