A wonderful example is John R W Stott whose world wide influence in my parents generation is tough to beat. Yet for many years prior to his death his primary focus was that of raising up the next generation of Christian leaders. He intentionally multiplied himself by giving himself away and focused less on his personal impact on society and more on the impact that the next generation would make. In doing so his legacy and influence live on in a powerful way.
This requires a Kingdom heart that is focused not on one’s own accolades but on empowering others who will will multiply one’s Kingdom influence. It is about the Kingdom, not us. It is about leaving aliving legacy in the lives we have influenced who will carry on our work when we are gone. I suspect that there will be many behind the scenes who will receive greater rewards in heaven than many big names whose focus was on their own ministry and legacy rather than on leaving aliving legacy through others.
This applies to wives who mentor the next generation of wives, husbands who mentor and raise up the next generation of Godly husbands, Christian leaders who invest themselves in the next generation of leaders … anyone who is investing their lives in passing the baton to others who may actually have far more influence than we ever did.
For Christian leaders, I am convinced that their success is best measured not by what happened while they were in leadership but by what happens when they are gone! Was there stewardship of the ministry about them or the ministry? If the latter they invested significant time and effort into the lives of the next generation of leaders. If the former, they often did not.
If you are post fifty, who are you investing in? Who are you raising up to take your place behind you? That investment may well be your greatest influence and legacy as you multiply yourself in the lives of others. It is a quiet, behind the scenes work that will seldom be seen but its impact can be profound. It is in giving ourselves away that we have our greatest impact.