I had a birthday a few days ago. And many others before it, lol. I am an “experienced” leader.

In fact, I am old enough to be the dad of literally everyone on my team staff team. As such, I am thinking of the days ahead and how I can close out the final decade [or less] of my likely full-time ministry years.

While I appreciate the term “legacy,” and the imagery that goes with it, I am actually thinking more of a different term – handoff. The reality is that the direct impact of any work that I’ve done will be gone very quickly once I step out of the day-to-day – unless that work has been focused on people. Styles come and go – so do programs, initiatives, tools/techniques, and most ideas. However, investments made in people are the ones that multiply and have the potential to last. 

Years ago in my time at Willow Creek, there was a moment in a weekend service where this kind of handoff was celebrated. The worship team closed out a service, as they had many times before. The difference? This particular weekend was about impacting the upcoming generations. Mid-song, a young musician walked onto the stage. He walked up to the guitarist, who took off the guitar and handed it to his young counterpart – who then took over. The older player walked off the stage. One by one, this process was repeated until there was a complete team of student-aged singers and players, who closed the song. I was in tears…

A similar handoff occurred at a Student Ministry conference soon after – members of the student band handed off to younger students to “pass the baton.” One of those students was my son – so the personal impact was even more pronounced.

Ultimately, a well-lived life isn’t about being remembered – it’s about holding the door open for those coming next…   #creativeworshipideas 

I had a birthday a few days ago. And many others before it, lol. I am an “experienced” leader.

In fact, I am old enough to be the dad of literally everyone on my team staff team. As such, I am thinking of the days ahead and how I can close out the final decade [or less] of my likely full-time ministry years.

While I appreciate the term “legacy,” and the imagery that goes with it, I am actually thinking more of a different term – handoff. The reality is that the direct impact of any work that I’ve done will be gone very quickly once I step out of the day-to-day – unless that work has been focused on people. Styles come and go – so do programs, initiatives, tools/techniques, and most ideas. However, investments made in people are the ones that multiply and have the potential to last. 

Years ago in my time at Willow Creek, there was a moment in a weekend service where this kind of handoff was celebrated. The worship team closed out a service, as they had many times before. The difference? This particular weekend was about impacting the upcoming generations. Mid-song, a young musician walked onto the stage. He walked up to the guitarist, who took off the guitar and handed it to his young counterpart – who then took over. The older player walked off the stage. One by one, this process was repeated until there was a complete team of student-aged singers and players, who closed the song. I was in tears…

A similar handoff occurred at a Student Ministry conference soon after – members of the student band handed off to younger students to “pass the baton.” One of those students was my son – so the personal impact was even more pronounced.

Ultimately, a well-lived life isn’t about being remembered – it’s about holding the door open for those coming next…   

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