WHAT WILL BE YOUR LEGACY? – THE S. G. ELTON EXAMPLE
The picture above is of Miss Ruth Elton, 77, the only daughter of Pa S. G. Elton, a missionary statesman who discipled a lot of the men who led and still lead the Pentecostal revival in Nigeria. She’s standing on behalf of her father for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ECU Reunion Conference 2011.
The ECU is an acronym for the Evangelical Christian Union, one of the foremost and oldest campus fellowships at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. It is a fellowship reputed in it’s almost fifty (50) years of existence to have produced leaders in almost every sphere of human endeavor – ministry, business, education, corporate and public governance, technology, ICT etc. I know because I am privileged to have passed through the same place and have served (and still serve) in leadership at both student and alumni levels.
S. G. Elton influenced those who shaped that fellowship in her early years. He lived a few kilometers away in Ilesha from the Ile-Ife campus where the fellowship is located. And now, he is being honored even in death, because his legacy endures!
Indeed, “The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.” (Proverbs 10:7) I have said before and now again I say; FAME without a NAME is LAME. It does not endure! Solomon, ancient king of Israel put it this way, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)
I’m saying this because as leaders, we must not get it wrong! Our mandate is to build an enduring legacy. And the surest way to do that is by pouring our lives in service into other men. Monuments will fall and crumble, wealth and riches will fade but he that lives on in the hearts of other men truly lives! I agree with Edwin Markham, American clergyman of the 19th Century who in effect said that nothing really is worth the making if it does not make the man.
Investing in people is a costly and risky business; in fact it’s plain hard work. But as I have come to know that’s where the real joy and fulfillment in leadership comes from. In the long run, no one will remember you for the number of cars you had or the kind of automobile you drove. They will care less how many countries you visited or the size of your business organization or ministry. Only your deposit in people’s lives is what will endure after all is said and done.
See, “One of the outstanding ironies of history is the utter disregard of ranks and titles in the final judgment men pass on each other,” Samuel Logan Brengle (1860 – 1939) said. “The final estimate of men shows that history cares not an iota for the rank or title a man has borne, or the office he has held, but only the quality of his deeds and the character of his mind and heart,” he concluded.
S. G. Elton had followed in the footsteps of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Paul, the Apostle from Tarsus and many others like them who though may be dead yet their legacies live on through the lives they have touched. They are my heroes and I say, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!” (Numbers 23:10) Selah!
Posted on January 14, 2012, in Christian Leadership, Church, Destiny, Encouragement, Excellence, Leadership, Mentoring, Ministry, Preaching, Success, Worship and tagged Leadership, Legacy, Ministry, pentecostal revival, Spiritual Life. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.