29 Jan '11
Who are you investing in?
Generous living is not only about money and possessions. Generous leaders are leaders who regularly mentor and develop other leaders – especially the next generation who will be taking our place.
I think back to my early years in the pastorate where I walked through some very deep waters. I wish that there had been an older leader who would have come alongside to provide encouragement and council. It was lonely! One of my great privileges is to come alongside some of the next generation of pastors and leaders as they walk through similar challenges. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul did with Timothy and Titus as Barnabas had done for him.
We often think of legacy as what we will accomplish in this life. I think that is only one piece of the equation. I can multiply my influence and legacy by faithfully building into others, sharing lessons learned, providing perspective and hopefully helping others not to pay the dumb tax I paid along the way. Our greatest impact will not usually be what we did but the people we invested in who carried the torch further and deeper than we ever could.
The catch is that this investment in others will usually never be publicly seen. It is a quiet, behind the scenes ministry but for those who are motivated by maximizing their influence for Christ it hugely multiplies that influence. Those looking for accolades won't find it here. Those who build into others out of a humble spirit will find much joy in equipping others.
All of us can come alongside others to encourage and provide perspective and council. I really believe that once we hit fifty (yes I have done that) one of our highest priorities is to come alongside the next generation of leaders and help them become all they can be. It is no longer about us (actually never was) but about those who are coming behind us. It is an opportunity to generously give away what we have learned and to equip the next generation to take leadership and kingdom impact to a higher level than we did or could. It is one of the best investments we can ever make.