This post was originally published by Dean on

by Dean Merrill

LegacyOptimizedMy city, though only a half-million in population, has the No. 1 Subaru dealership in America. Here in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, the all-wheel-drive feature means they sell a ton of Legacy models (plus Imprezas, Foresters, Crosstreks and especially Outbacks) to wannabe off-roaders.

Allow me to wander off-topic, however, to a different kind of question: What’s your idea of a good legacy? Not the kind you drive, but the kind you build. To put it another way: When someone sits down to write your obituary someday, what achievements of yours will they include? “John Doe is remembered for having done …” what? Started a business? Set up a foundation? Put three kids through college? Served on a community task force or church board? Received such-and-such an award?

What is truly going to count in the long run?

When I think about my own legacy, should it be measured by how many books I’ve authored or coauthored (46)? By how many Christian magazines I’ve helped to shape (13)? By what offices I held in the Evangelical Press Association (EPA) or the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA)? By what academic degrees I collected?

The thing is, a majority of those books (dating back to the 1970s) are now declared “OP” (out-of-print). That’s the tough verdict a publisher announces when sales have slowed to the point that another print run or warehouse space is no longer justified. (The new “print-on-demand” technology is changing this dynamic now, much to the delight of authors; our books can be reprinted even one at a time if need be without driving costs through the ceiling.) But does low sales mean little legacy?

Read the rest of this post over at Dean’s Blog…

Dean Merrill is the author of 10 books and co-author of 35 other books. He has served the FCA and many other ministries through his gifts as leadership and writing. He and his wife Grace live in Colorado Springs. For more of his writings, see: (this article first appeared on

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