As a Christian leader, your future is in the Kingdom of God. What you leave behind here is not wealth, accomplishments, big buildings, awards, crowds, etc. Your legacy will be found in the impact you have had on others. With that in mind, no matter your age you have to consider your personal ministry contribution carefully.
3 Action Steps to Solidify your Legacy
A lot will change between now and the end of your ministry. While you can’t predict those changes, you can determine the kind of impact you want to have and safeguard yourself and the legacy you will leave behind.
Here are 3 key areas to consider now (whether you are 28 or 68) surrounding your legacy.
1. Consider your unique contribution
What do you uniquely bring to the table? Everyone has something to contribute—what is your piece? Too often we think our contribution is a static, unchanging, one-time thing: when we find it, that will be it! Yet the reality is, each person’s personal ministry contribution is a moving target. It changes and morphs throughout our lives as we learn, grow, and find ourselves in new situations.
Take time for periodic reflection. Maybe once per year, sit down and consider what you consider your current contribution to be. Then listen to the Holy Spirit about what—if any—new directions he may want you to take. Try and listen to God’s voice as you think and pray through these questions:
- Where does the Spirit seem to be moving?
- What people and situations have been brought across your path?
- Where is the line between distraction and opportunity?
- What does God want you to do in this next season of life?
- Where do you sense God’s leading?
2. Trust your calling and passion
Usually God will lead you to serve in areas you are passionate about and gifted for. Take into account the world’s needs and your abilities and situation in life.
- What needs do you see?
- What can you do about them?
- How has God gifted you?
- What opportunities has he put at your disposal?
- How could he use you to make a difference?
3. Take steps of faith
Just as the answers to these questions may change over time, so it may be hard to discern those answers. Rather than staying stationary until you hear for sure, reach out and try serving in some way. See what God does. Look for the results. Trust that as you step forward, the Holy Spirit will guide you.
Strategies for focusing your personal ministry contribution
- Take periodic time for reflection.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit and consider what he may be doing.
- Consider your passions and the world’s needs.
- Take into account your giftedness and abilities.
- Consider your stage of life and your opportunities.
- Try something, even if you’re not sure.
Your little corner of the Kingdom
Just as the Body of Christ holds great variety, so do its leaders. No single person—no matter how gifted—can do everything. Nor is God calling him or her to do everything. Take time to listen to the still small voice of God. Consider what contribution he might be asking you to make. It may or may not sound grand—but it is part of the coming Kingdom. God made you uniquely for an important purpose. Consider then how you can focus your energy to make your contribution as significant as possible.
When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:12-14
The one commonality every Christian leader should share when it comes to legacy: we are in the people business. Driven by the Greatest Commandments and the Great Commission, our legacy must include making disciples and developing them into disciplemaking leaders. Here are our best recommendations for effective, high-impact disciplemaking and leadership development…
The Discipleship Difference- Every person is different and we all reflect God in different ways. So why is our typical approach to discipleship the same across the board? The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are.
The Leadership Difference- Anyone in a position of leadership, whether they’re leading a church, a team, or a small group, needs skills and strategies like these — skills and strategies that result in lightening your own load, developing the skills of others, and getting the job done effectively. Whether you are just beginning your journey or helping develop the future of church leadership, this book is a fantastic resource.
The Church Planting Journey- A fresh look at church planting tools and processes contextualized for today’s realities. The Church Planting Journey is packed with wisdom and simple, practical, reproducible processes that can be translated into any church context. From house churches to mega-churches, let The Church Planting Journey be your guide to fulfilling the unique call God has placed on you to multiply the church.
An Undivided Heart
If you are on a journey to bring back your first love, start with this book…
An undivided heart is not something you can force on yourself or others and this book, An Undivided Heart: Living and Loving like Jesus, isn’t an instruction manual with step-by-step procedures. It is a journey, unique to you, that begins with your unique relationship with Jesus. Living with an undivided heart will naturally lead to living an undivided life. Cultivation of the heart flows into action.