I spent last weekend with my wife and Ian and Christina Robertson in Chicago at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. It was a good time to get away, think about youth ministry/my calling, have some great convos with old friends, remind myself how blessed I am for God to let me live in San Diego :), and then... to think about my legacy...
cuz the conference theme was "surprising legacy".
And it was everywhere. All over the main session talks, the break out discussions, my own times of reading and eventually all over my thoughts.
This was a deep thing for me. I really care about Legacy. If I was really honest, the word "care" is actually the understatement of the year. Legacy has ties to purpose and significance and intentionality and reputation and vision and so much more. Legacy is a BIG word for me. In fact, as I thought about it, I was reminded that it was like my 6th post ever on this blog, simply titled "Legacy".
At this stage of my life, next month will be 16 years as a full-time youth pastor for me. 11 years in Nor Cal at Powerhouse and 5 years in San Diego with Encounter. As I look back over those years. Here's what I was reminded of last weekend and what I care about so much these days.
- LEGACY: It's the wake I'm leaving behind. And it's not an "if" thing either. I'm leaving a legacy, the only question is, "Is it one God is honored in?" I'm praying it's a 2 Timothy 2:2 thing God is doing in me.
- PARENTING: This one scares me to death. I have 5 kids I'm trying to raise to love God and others like Jesus. At the end of the day, after all the students in the wake of my life have come and gone, it's my own reflection in the face of my kids that will matter the most. Oh God I pray for strength and wisdom in this massive and seemingly impossible task you've entrusted to me. May the deepest reflection I see in my kid's faces be yours.
- THINKING, HARD WORKING, and AUTHENTIC: Those three words sum up some a lot for me in what I hope I leave behind in my family and ministry.
- thinking: I really pray that I'm raising up Christ-centered young men and women who actually THINK about what they believe and why they believe it. I don't what to teach a single student what to think, I want to teach them how to think- how to think and reason and wrestle with their views and those who oppose them. I don't want them to merely adhere to a list of moral standards. I want them to radically love God and have a morality that is congruent with that. I firmly believe it is possible for a student to be morally right and spiritually dead and I want no part of that legacy.
- hard working: I'm tired of lazy believers. Call it an old school work ethic if you want, but bottom line, I want to raise up a generation that put some passion into their calling- regardless of their career- and are known for doing an honest day's work. I'm so tired of lazy, apathetic, gutless, predictable, cheap "faith" by those who claim to be following Jesus. Yes, I want to raise up a generation who play and rest well and often... but I think it should be well earned.
- authentic: I don't want to be fake. I want to be honest about my successes and failures. I want to serve genuinely and love deeply. I want to screw up and seek forgiveness. I want to be a man who is authentically in love with God and to raise up a generation that will be honest about their joys and regrets too, learning from one another along the way.