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Two guys turn 90

by | Mar 24, 2022 | Opinion

By Todd Baughman

This weekend I had the opportunity to celebrate two men in my life turning 90 years old. 

One was my grandfather Bob Houser and the other, my friend and founding pastor Gene Getz. 

These milestones gave me the opportunity to celebrate the lives of some great men in my life. 

My grandfather in many ways changed the trajectory of our family. 

He came from a very poor (no running water) and abusive childhood family.  But you would never guess that if you were to look around the room of the children and grandchildren celebrating his 90th

He built a legacy (along with my incredible grandmother) of a family full of love, gentleness, humility, public service, and amazing hair.  (That guy still has a full head of very stylish hair.)

I was reflecting on his hard work, faith, humility, leadership skills and desire to serve others this week.  It’s clear that those traits have been passed down as I think about the children and grandchildren celebrating him.  Although I fully recognize I often fall short of that legacy, I know without his (and others) example, I’d be a total train wreck…

In many similar ways I think about our founding pastor Gene and his legacy.  Gene changed the way church is done.  It’s really that simple.  If you’ve heard of, or been to a Fellowship Bible Church there’s a very good chance you’ve been impacted by Gene.

Gene was a seminary professor in the 70’s teaching a course on what the bible said church should be like.  Focused on things like Love, Acceptance, Authenticity, Care for each other and the community.  Not too hung up on rules, routines, and forms. 

He taught that there are certain biblical functions that must happen in a healthy church, but that there was freedom in the forms that those functions are lived out.

His students challenged him, saying “that church didn’t really look like that”, and a group of them and others challenged him to start one.

Today there are around 400 independent churches who have been launched from this movement.  The lives changed through these churches is immeasurable.

This weekend I’m honored to celebrate both these great men and their legacy.   But I’m also stepping back to reflect on the legacy I hope to leave.  One of generational impact.  Or even more importantly eternal impact. 

What will it look like when I turn 90?  I sure hope I have grandpa’s hair!  But seriously, I want that hair….  for real seriously though…

What am I doing now that will really matter then?

And do I spend my time now focused on what will make generational and eternal impact.

Ninety years is a long time, but compared to forever, it’s a tiny blip on the map.  The Good News is: What we do here and now has the power to change trajectories here and in eternity. 

So, let’s work together to help as many people as possible live for what really matters.

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