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Perched on the Shoulders of Giants Part 1

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Building on Legacy for the Sake of Mission

“No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance” (Joshua 1:5-6).

I have a baton sitting on my desk in my office with the verses above etched into it. It reminds me daily of the challenge and responsibility to carry forward the legacy of mission at Eastbrook Church, where I serve as senior pastor. Throughout our thirty-five years as a church, a strong sense of mission has been upheld not only by our founding senior pastor, Dr. Marc Erickson, but also by the ownership of our entire congregation. A courageous group of spiritual giants stand within the memories of Eastbrook’s history of mission like a local version of Hebrews 11.

When I took the helm just over four years ago, we entered a season of leadership transition, weathering it well by God’s grace. In the midst of this transitional time, we have worked at keeping the calling to mission central in this new era of ministry. I want to share four characteristics I have come to believe are essential for building on legacy to strengthen churches to move forward powerfully for mission.


The Psalmist encourages his readers with these words, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” (Psalm 107:2). One important aspect of our life in the church is to tell the stories of what God has done in our midst. As time goes on in the life of a church, particularly in leadership transitions, we risk losing our sense of history.

But retaining historical awareness of the church’s mission is especially important in moving forward. Some ...

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