3 Keys to Leaving a Legacy

Do you want to leave a legacy for the effort you are putting into children's ministry?

Do you want to see the kids you are ministering to grow up to love Jesus because of the investment you made in their life?

I believe we all want to move beyond just "serving our time in children's ministry."  I believe you are reading this because you want to know your investment is making an eternal difference.

Plain and simple...you want to leave a legacy.

There is a lady in the Bible who left a legacy that is still being talked about to this day.  Let's take a look at what she did to leave such a long-lasting legacy.

"Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy.  While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over His head.  The disciples were indignant when they saw this. "What a waste!" they said.  "It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor."

But Jesus, aware of this, replied, "Why criticize this woman for doing such a thing to me?  You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me."  She has poured this perfume me to prepare my body for burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman's deed will be remembered and discussed."
Matthew 26

This lady left a legacy that is still remembered and talked about today.  There are 3 keys things she did to leave a legacy.  Let's look at them.

#1 - Pour Out Your Time.  It took time to earn the perfume.  It was very expensive and the woman must have worked many days or even months to obtain it.

One of the most valuable things you have is your time.  It is precious.  When you invest your time in serving others, you will see the spiritual rewards now and later.

Have you heard of Don Ritchie?  Don lived across the road from a place called "The Gap" (no - not the store) in Australia.  The Gap is a well-known cliff area.  It is infamous for being a place where people go to commit suicide.  Don could see the cliff from his house.  After seeing several people jump to their death, Don decided he would step in and offer hope to the desperate people who came there to commit suicide.

Don kept watch and when he saw someone getting close to the edge of the cliff, he would rush over and talk the person back away from the edge of the cliff.  He would then bring them to his house and sit down for a meal with them.  He would talk with them - offering them hope and encouragement.

At his funeral, hundreds of people showed up and said Don had saved their life.

It took lots of time for Don to watch and save people from suicide.  If you want to leave a legacy, then follow the example of Don and invest your time in helping others.

#2 - Pour Out Your Treasure.  The perfume the lady poured on Jesus was very, very expensive.  It was a huge investment for her.  It probably took months or even years to save enough money to purchase it.

What do you invest your treasure in?  Temporal things?  I believe we must remember that everything we have will one day end up in the junkyard.  That new car you just bought, will one day be rusting in a car salvage yard.  That new 60 inch TV you just got, will soon be replaced with a 80 inch one.  The house you have spent years paying off, will one day be flattened.

But there is something you can pour your treasure into that will last.  When you invest your treasure into reaching and discipling children, the results are eternal.  There is nothing more valuable than the soul of a child.  God says this about it...

"What does it benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul."  Mark 8:36

Take all the riches of the world - houses, money, gold, diamonds, cars, land and bank accounts.  Put all of that on one side of God's scale.  On the other side of God's scale put one child that you minister to...and God says the child is worth more than all of those possessions and riches.

#3 - Pour Out Your Talent.  You have talents that the Lord has given you just as He had given the lady talents.  God gave us talents so we could use them to help reach the next generation.  Invest in what will outlive you.  When you invest in the next generation,  you are sending a message to a day you will never see.  Long after we are gone, the children you invested in will still be sharing the Gospel with others.

Matthew 10:42 says, "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will not lose their reward."

As you pour out your talent, you will see God begin to use your life to His glory.  Ministry doors will open for you.

You are dropping pebbles into water.  And as you do this, ripples will begin to spread across the lives of children.

In Matthew 1, we see the story of the farmer planting seeds.  Some seeds don't grow and last, but many do.  And the seeds that make it, blossom into a harvest of 30, 60 and even 100 times as much as you planted.

Remember, a legacy is not what you leave for the next generation, rather it's what you leave in the lives of the next generation.  

Pour out your time, treasure and talents, and you will leave a legacy that will last for generations to come.