When I started my job at Village Church approximately two years ago, I didn't know what was in store. Here I was: fresh out of seminary and transitioning to a new job from a previous job at another church and community that I loved dearly and knew I'd miss. So I showed up at this new job, they gave me a tour of the office, took me to my workspace, and within ten minutes of being there, they said glad you're here! Now, can you write a blog? So I started that blog, and then, work kicked into warp speed. Like, real warp speed. In five years, this church has grown from about 100 to 4000 people.
Then I showed up to my first Sunday service and sat at the very back of the auditorium, not actually knowing what I was supposed to do. Technically, I was in charge of "coordinating the communications" of this church at this point, but I didn't know how that was supposed to play out practically on a Sunday yet. The result? I pulled my iPhone 4s out of my pocket and started tweeting sermon quotes and taking horrible photos and posting them to Instagram and Facebook. Two years later, I've watched and helped the editorial communications ministry of Village grow from what it was to what it is now. And this was and is due to the hard work and creativity of the amazing artists and leaders that I get to work with (so many in fact, that I can't name them all here), and the power of a God who takes weird, fallible people like me, and uses them in crazy ways.
Now, as I conclude my work at Village and transition to a new place and role overseas, I look back at my time at this place and consider: what is my legacy? As it turns out, my legacy is Space Cat; a comical and crazy photo of 'Lil Bub the cat in space that I used in a social media post for our church's Facebook timeline. And if you're wondering how it is that I arrived at this conclusion, I based it on a kind shout out from one of our pastors, Jeremy Johnson. See the photo below:
When we leave a place we tend to think we're going to be remembered for the "important work" that we did; the moments when we showed people "how smart we were" or "how gifted we are." But the reality is, we are most remembered for the relative degree of joy and laughter we brought into peoples' lives. The question isn't so much what did he or she do here? but what kind of person was he or she? Did they love people? Did they make people smile? Did they show integrity in their decisions and were they reliable? Did they care about the work and the people it impacted, or, did they subordinate the objectives of work to the lives of people?
Of course, if you were to ask me about "my legacy" at Village Church yesterday, I probably wouldn't say Space Cat. But now, with help from a colleague, I can proudly say that my legacy at Village church is Space Cat; not because it reflects my "best work" in terms of aesthetics or editorial flair, but because it reflects my best efforts to live out my belief that you can 1) grow something 2) change lives and 3) have fun in the process; and that 1, 2, and 3 are interrelated rather than mutually exclusive.
I will miss this place and these people when I move.