Imagine if you had a time machine and could travel into the future and meet your future two generations – your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What would you see 50 years from now? What would they remember from you?
The Era of Instant Satisfaction
It seems like people these days tend to be more interested in immediate results than long term impact. We care more about having fun today than we do about long-term financial security. We are more interested in losing 15 pounds quickly than adopting long-term, healthy eating habits. We care more about passing the test than actually learning the material. It seems we are satisfied with taking shortcuts for immediate success today, even if we must sacrifice greatly the long-term benefits down the road.
This is true in almost any circumstance, but it seems especially true in terms of our spiritual lives and legacy. One area this is evident is on our lack of focus on discipleship. Many are committed to evangelism, to a great Sunday worship experience, or successful church programs. We get excited when the church grows in numbers, and our programs are well attended. The problem is that far too often this comes at the expense of long-term investment and efforts needed to build deeply committed disciples of Jesus Christ.
The real truth is that if we could look down the road a few decades, we would see the time we spent training, encouraging, and helping believers become mature, disciple-making disciples, would be time richly invested. Our investment in discipleship is multiplied greatly over time, as disciples make disciples.
Going for Multi-generational Impact
Just consider the dynamics of a typical Christian family. If a believing mom and dad make sure their children grow into faithful, obedient, mature disciples of Jesus, they all but insure their impact for the Kingdom will be felt long after they are gone from this earth. Children who are faithful disciples grow up knowing how to seek the Lord and marry faithful men or women of God. Having the example of their parents to draw on, they can raise their children to be faithful disciples as well. They, in turn, can repeat the process in the next generation. Each generation can do a better job of discipleship because they have learned from their parents and can avoid the mistakes of previous generations.
Within a few generations, one family
led by faithful disciples can
become 100 families serving God and continuing the process!
Is it difficult to parent well? Yes it is. Does it require great sacrifice? Absolutely! Is it worth it? Without a doubt! Just imagine hundreds, maybe thousands of believers tracing their spiritual heritage back to the fact that you were faithful. Don’t forget or neglect the generational impact you will have. For good or bad, we make an impact on those who follow after us. Let’s make sure we are making disciples in our own homes and in our relationships. The possibility of having a multi-generational impact for the Kingdom of God is worth far more than we could ever imagine. It is worth our very best efforts.