Leaving a Legacy

October 15, 2013

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I recently attended the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. The theme was Known: Identity, Calling, Legacy

Reggie Joiner spoke in one of the sessions on legacy, using an illustration of a jar of marbles. He shares how when people give birth to a child, he gives them a jar, telling them to remove a marble each week. He would place approximately 936 marbles in the jar, representing the amount of weeks parents have between birth and graduation. This helps people realize just how fast time flies.

As the father of an 8 and 7-year-old, I can attest to this. Where did all the time go?

As we consider legacy, Reggie gave us a series of sobering thoughts.
– People who used to be known are no longer known
– You will die sooner than you think
– You will be forgotten
– You will only be remembered by the people who know you now

All of these are wake up calls to challenge us to invest in those we are with now.

Reggie said, “The impact you will have is with the people who you are with now. Seeing the time left tends to make what matters; matter more.”

Leaving a legacy focuses on what we can do. We often need encouragement to not grow weary when we do not see the immediate results, but trust the Lord to do His part.

Reggie Joyner shared that, “A secret in building a legacy is what can be done over time. Being consistent in doing what you are supposed to do.” This works in ministry and areas as ordinary as parenting

We know God loves us cause it happened over time. He could have fixed sin after the garden, but instead He demonstrated His desire for relationship. When you take what you live and put it over time, it becomes believable.

The only way you can do it is consistently, predictably, and over time.

Fun over time equals connection.
Tribes over time gives people an identity.
You tend to spend more time with a few when you see how much time you have left.

I’ve recently entered my forties, and although I believe I have many years left, the urgency of time depleting does cause you to act.

One of my favorite quotes from Reggie’s session was :

“Inheritance is what you leave for someone, legacy is what you leave in them. Legacy lives to give applause to others. Its others focused.”

Sprinkled into his talk were some absolute gems for parenting:

“You will only know your kids at their stage once”, was my favorite.

Reggie concluded the session by summarizing:

“Leaving a legacy has less to do with being magnificent and more to do with being ordinary and dependable.”

I think that sums up both parenting and ministry.

What legacy do you want to leave?

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God