It may sound very selfish.
“I hope the church is around long enough to have my funeral.”
For many churches that find their numbers dwindling, such a sentiment is often expressed to clergy as discussion about the future of the church takes place. While the sentiment is a bit self-centered, the need it calls to is deep.
The more important inheritance is to leave a place just as comforting to the next generation as the church has been to us.
Even as we draw nearer to the time of our death as an individual, our legacy is still influenced by our actions or lack of action. No matter what our age, we as individuals and as a church must continue to look toward the future for those who are following in our footsteps or who have yet to know the freedom of the gospel.
Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. 2 Peter 1:12-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)