Christian Leaders Who Leave a Legacy

Christian Leaders Who Leave a Legacy

If you have identified your life calling and are fulfilling it ... that is good. But what next?

As a Christian in a leadership role, you are called to leave a legacy in the lives of others. Start thinking today about developing the next generation of leaders. Take a long view, prepare your successors in leadership. All successful leaders eventually exit the stage. What the next generation achieves will be (in part) a reflection of what they inherited.

How will people summarise your work and life? How will they measure the impact of your leadership? How do you want to be remembered? How would you write your own eulogy?

Most of us are so caught up in the "now" that we rarely think about the kind of legacy we will leave behind, whether we move from one job to another (or to retirement), our children move out of home, or our lives come to an end. Far too many leaders assume legacy is something they need to think about later in life. Others do not leave a legacy at all (those who follow are left to pick up the pieces), or their work and vision quickly dissipate and they are forgotten.

Good legacy building starts now. Yesterday has gone and cannot be re-lived. Life "goes on" (see Psalm 146:3, 4). New generations come and old ones disappear. Great visions and passion (sometimes entire movements) lose their relevance, currency and appeal and vanish into the ether as a result of inter-generational change. After a couple of generations few people outside our families will know we even existed. Consider the fading names on gravestones at the local cemetery. See how much (if anything) you know about those lie there - and whether or not you care. The fact is, most of what we do will not last; things we cherish will ultimately "perish with the using" (Colossians 2:22). Unless we think seriously about the kind of legacy we are developing it is likely we will leave nothing worth inheriting.

It is time to consider what sort of impact on the future you wish to make? Thinking about your legacy will encourage you to be a more intentional leader straight away. It will exert a positive influence on the way you plan and lead, and how you weigh up and communicate the values you hold.

Finally, Christian leadership is not "about you". It is about glorifying Jesus Christ. Your legacy is not about celebrating your name, your life, or your great achievements, but maximizing the influence you can have in the lives of others so that you know your work for God is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Make your life count. Do it now. Whatever you do will have consequences.

A legacy of integrity is an essential element of Christian discipleship.

What do we Mean by "Legacy"?

Pass on the best of yourself to those you lead. Set an example.

Jesus' Legacy for His Disciples

Even as he focussed on the "now" problems, eg getting food for 5,000 followers, paying the temple tax or sorting out where to sleep at night, Jesus took a very long, big-picture, view when calling, teaching and commissioning His disciples. His view was the Kingdom of God, redemption for humanity, eternity.

Jesus left you "an example, that you should follow in his steps". (1 Peter 2:21)

Some OT Leaders Who Left Legacies

We can leave good legacies or poor ones. Biographies are full of both.

Some NT Leaders Who Left Legacies (we are still talking about them)

"They will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them." (Revelation 14:13)

Factors that Kill Effective Legacies

Be honest about your flaws; this allows God's grace and strength to shine through.

A positive environment must be developed; it doesn't just happen.

Is Your "Mission" Worth Inheriting?

"We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command." (2 Thessalonians 3:4)

"Follow me as I follow Christ" (1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1).

Developing (Discipling) NextGen Leaders

Every day, in every experience & relationship, we plant seeds even if we don't realize it

Starting Out - Where You Are

We reflect our leaders. "The apple usually doesn't fall far from the tree."

"From generation to generation we will proclaim your praise." (Psalm 79:22)


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