Reflections on Living a Life of Legacy
A teaching by Johnny Baker
2021 CR Summit
Written by Allie Klenke
So many times we hear “leave a legacy'' which sure- we should leave a legacy; Dave Ramsey has spent the better part of his life teaching how to do just that financially with his ‘7 Baby Steps’. There are many people who have left legacies, like Albert Einstein in the educational world and who can deny the spiritual legacy left by Billy Graham?
What if, instead of dying to leave a legacy we strive to live a life of legacy. Hear me out - at first I was also skeptical by the words coming out of the newly appointed National Executive Director of Celebrate Recovery Johnny Baker’s mouth. He posed that very question to open the Summit with the idea that we should and can live a life now worthy of being called a legacy.
In honor of his recently deceased dad, and founder of CR, John Baker, Johnny uses an acrostic to teach how we can in fact live a life of legacy.
L: The L is for love. Love others, love God, love yourself.
He references 1 Corinthians 13:1 “...If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” and Matt 22:37ff “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind…and… ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’”.
E: The E is for Encourage
Encourage your leaders, your volunteers and every brother and sister in this forever family. He points to 1 Thessalonians 5:1 where it instructs us to “build each other up” and Heb 10:24 telling us to “spur each other on toward love and good deeds.”
G: The G is for Generosity
Johnny stresses the importance of giving and giving freely. Sure he includes giving financially if possible - but more so he encourages us to give our time, talents and our ears as well. He explains that people like cash sure … but they remember love given, time taken, and compassion shared in hard times. He challenges us with Proverbs 11:25 - are we prospering, more so are we refreshed? If not we need to check how we are handling our resources.
A: The A is for Availability and Authenticity
Baker leans on Heb 13:2 to describe the importance of hospitality. Being available gives people confidence that you will listen when they need guidance and show people that they are important to you and to God. This is not a free pass to become a work-a-holic; we will talk about that in the coming weeks. We still have to set boundaries but be flexible and remember to be real. After all, CR is about being real so we can heal. We need to be authentic and open our hearts and planners for others.
C: The C is for Christ first.
Be available, be authentic, but remember in all things Christ comes first. In ministry it is easy to fall into ‘compassion fatigue’ and when we lose sight of Jesus we find ourselves serving others for ourselves. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek the Kingdom first and Baker reminds us to meet often, daily, even hourly with our King. Keeping Christ first is the only true way we can heal; and only when we are healing can we extend the true freedom found in Christ to others so they too can begin healing.
Y: The Y is for Yield - Yield yourself to God.
Principle 8 tells us we yield our life to be used by God; but Baker poses the question about how often we actually yield ourselves to God. What about yielding our wills? Our CR chapters? Our ministries? He proposes that we are to yield our lives, wills, chapters, and ministries over and over and over again. As often as we are reminded to do so. Sometimes that is daily, often that is hourly. Heb 10:23 tells us to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess - and we can not do that if we are trying to do this life thing by our own power - that is how we ended up here anyway!
9,000 people heard this in person or live online last week. I was blessed to be one of those 9,000 in person gaining wisdom on how to guild and lead our Celebrate Recovery Ministry from the generations that have gone before me.
CR celebrated its 30th year of teaching true freedom that is only found through Christ and Christ alone - follow along with me these next few weeks as I share what 35,000 other CR ministries world wide have learned over the course of the last week!