“Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.” ~ Rev. Billy Graham
Building a legacy begins with keeping the next generation in mind. Many leaders are shortsighted in setting goals. Their expectations for having a lasting impact are very limited. However, visionary leaders can see their influence extending well into the future.
Christian leaders who train themselves to think “next generation”, gain influence well beyond their lifetime. They build a legacy with lasting impact. I saw this lived out in my Grandfather who was a true servant leader in his investment in the lives of others. His legacy lives on today through the children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren of those he influenced during his lifetime. The Jewish people had this instilled in them through the repeating of the Shema recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4-9…
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The fundamental commandments that all Israelites were taught to embrace were to commit to love God with all their heart, soul and might, and not to chase after the false gods of other nations. As long as Israel did this, God would bless them as a nation. Some generations fulfilled this commitment and some did not, but there was always a “remnant” in each generation who would pass this on to their children. They knew this truth was timeless and they were building a legacy by pouring themselves into the next generation.
This is an amazing example of God’s heart for generational influence. Do you lead with the next generation in mind? What would acting on that perspective look like in your organization and with your team?
As a Christian leader, you can extend your influence by pouring yourself into this generation in such a way that prepares them to influence the next generation through what they learned from you. Generational influence is essential in building a lasting legacy. What values and principles would you like to see passed on as part of your legacy in the next generation?
Are you being intentional about building a lasting legacy through those you lead today? Simply invest in the lives of others. You don’t have to fill them, just take time to pour a little into them each day and building your legacy will begin to take shape.