Building a legacy begins with keeping the next generation in mind. Instead, we often set very shortsighted goals. It’s easy to limit our expectations to simply affecting the present instead of setting goals with a clear vision for a more lasting impact both now and in the future. If we can train ourselves to think “next generation” in all that we do, our impact will last well beyond our lifetime. I saw this lived out in my Grandfather who was a true servant leader by how he invested in the lives of others. His legacy lives on today through the children and 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 truth that all Israelites needed to embrace was their commitment to love God with all their heart, soul and might and not chase after the false gods of the 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 might that look like in your organization and with your team?
As a Christian leader, you should strive to extend your influence beyond those in your immediate reach by pouring into them values that they can pass on to others you may never meet. 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 your legacy begins.