Legacy by Kenny Conley

legacy pic

This past Sunday at Gateway South in Austin, we heard from our Next Generation Pastor, Kenny Conley.

You can listen to the message he shared here:

Here are notes from his message:

“There’s something in us that longs for significance. To mean something to others. At the end of our lives, we hope to have made a difference. That’s legacy. But sometimes we get this legacy thing mixed up. We strive for significance and making a name for ourselves to ensure that we won’t be forgotten, but that isn’t the way it works.

Within a generation or two, no one will remember your name. The entirety of your life will be summed up in a sentence or two… at best. Dont’ feel bad though. People who lived far greater lives than you or I will ever live have already entered obscurity.

Maybe having this realization is actually a good thing. We can stop living our lives striving towards something that just isn’t going to happen and instead focus our energy into creating a legacy that actually can happen, achieving significance that is attainable. Making a name for ourselves is a fleeting endeavor. It never lasts. A legacy that lasts is a life that is changed.

To the world, these people who got me to where I am today will never be famous, but they’ll always be famous to me.

Time is the currency of legacy.

Time puts us all on the same playing field. Time is the great equalizer. Regardless of your wealth, your education and your employment situation, we all have the same amount of time.

  • 7 days in a week
  • 168 hours weekly
  • 10,080 minutes this week

You gotta look at the bright side. This is:

  • 8,760 hours annually
  • 525,600 minutes this year
  • 31,536,000 seconds this year

If time was money – we’re millionaires! We’re rich! What we do with this time will determine your legacy. Very little else does.

If you have kids, they’re going to be a big part of your legacy by default. To be even more specific, the greatest legacy you will ever leave will be through the lives of your children and your children’s children.

All the studies show that no one has more influence in the life of a child than that child’s parents. Yes, even teenagers in your house that never listen to you as it is. You have more influence than their friends, more influence than media. Seriously.

I want to read a passage from the Bible that says a lot about parenting. More specifically, it’s about legacy… passing faith and eternal qualities to the next generation.

Deuteronomy 6:1-9
These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

As parents, we tend to prioritize some things over others. We may say some things are more important, but our actions say something else. We prioritize our kid’s health. We prioritize our kid’s education. We prioritize our kid’s opportunities like dance, sports and clubs. Sure these things are important, but we usually prioritize those things at the expense of their spirituality. The Bible never, ever says anything about raising our kids to be happy, productive and well adjusted contributing members of society. In Moses’ words here, he links spirituality to both happiness and success. He links keeping God’s laws and decrees to a long life that is enjoyed and increase in a land flowing with milk and honey. Prioritize the spiritual and the rest will follow.

Not sure how to talk to your kids about spiritual things? Talk to them about what you are discovering in your time with God, and take advantage of the opportunities created for them on Sundays. You can continue the conversation with them about what they learn on Sundays using the Parent Cue App.

I’m not just talking to parents or the influence you have on your own kid. The job of investing in the next generation isn’t just for parents. We all play a part. Think of your own life and how you got to where you are today. For many of you, it was your parents who influenced you the most, but for most of you, it was someone else too. Right? A teacher, an aunt or uncle, a leader at your church or maybe a counselor at camp had a huge part in helping you become who you are today. Yes, one day you may be a parent as well, but building your legacy doesn’t begin with parenthood. You may already have kids or have had your kids, but your legacy needs to extend beyond your own family.

Here’s another idea I want to throw out. With all my heart, I believe that moms and dads are the best equipped to raise their kids physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally. No one has more influence than a parent. However, I also don’t think that parents can do it on their own. Parents need help. It’s not because of a parents inability to be awesome all the time, but the natural way kids change as they grow.

We actually have a term for this around here parents. It’s called Widen the Circle. It’s understanding that additional voices are needed to help our own children become who they need to be. This is something intentional that parents need to do. Yes, count the time, make the most of every week, but know that you can’t do it on your own. You have to widen the circle!

Are you willing to be another voice in a child or student’s life? It takes less time than you think, but it’s the surest way to leave a legacy that will long outlast your time in this world.”

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