I’ve been out for the past week or so ministering to a pastor who lost his brother in a boating accident, and while I was at the funeral, something hit me. The man’s six-year-old son stood up first, talking about how his daddy taught him to love God. Later, after the man’s friends and family had spoken about how this man and his family had touched their lives, the little boy returned to the front and told everyone that the Holy Spirit had helped him, and would continue to support him.
The entire encounter reminded me of Proverbs 13:22: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”
This man truly made an impression on his kids— there aren’t many who, at the age of six, can confidently tell others that they not only believe in the Holy Spirit but also trust and have the certainty that the Holy Spirit will help them.
It had me thinking: what kind of impression are we leaving? What effect are we having on people, and what is the legacy we are leaving behind?
- The effects on our community: As a church, we have an impact we want to make. We want to let our community know that Jesus loves individual community member and desires a personal relationship with them.
If you were sitting with people who know you, what would they say is your defining characteristic? What is the lasting impression you’re leaving? And if you were to leave, what would you have taught them that they could continue to follow?
Sure, people want to be remembered as being funny, but think about what happens when a celebrity passes away. Entertainers die, and people get sad and talk about how terrible it is that the person died, but quickly move on to the next topic. You might be a great singer or performer, but you have to be more than that to leave a lasting effect.
- The effects on your children: It’s our role as parents to make sure our children have a personal relationship with God. Lead by example — they need to see that relationship lived out daily; not just as something the read in Bible stories, but as an integral part of your life. So many parents will say they didn’t want to drag their child to church because the child wouldn’t get anything out of it. How many would say that about dragging their child to school?
The pastor and his brothers were dragged to believers’ conventions when they were young. Now, today did the community not only remark about the lasting impression their son made in his community, but their grandson was able to stand up and say that the Holy Spirit was helping him.
These things are important. Start thinking about your vision and acting on it.
You’re going to leave something behind — make sure it impacts others and makes a difference.
Watch below to learn even more.