No matter our role in the life of a child or teenager whether we are parents, grandparents, coaches, small group leaders, aunts, uncles, etc. - by choosing to invest in young lives we have an amazing opportunity to be part of spiritually influencing the younger generation. By investing our time, creating moments and intentionally guiding the young people around us we can be part of their faith journey in exceptional ways. Shelly Calcagno and joy Eggerichs share a few creative ideas to help you as you influence and invest in the lives around you!
The Legacy Countdown app is a creation of the Orange/Rethink Group. (www.thinkorange.com) As a parent, grandparent or small group leader - you can enter the birthdate of the kids or students in your life. The app will then give you a countdown until graduation. This countdown is simply a reminder of the time you have left to influence. It's a great visual look at moments and how they matter.
Another idea is a marble jar. Based on the book Playing for Keeps/Losing Your Marbles by
Reggie Joiner and Kristin Ivy the jar is another reminder of time and
moments. Figure out how many weeks your child has until graduation and fill a
jar with that number of marbles. Each week remove one and as the marbles
decrease it is another visible way to remember how important time is
Imagine creating a faith box for a new little baby, and then at key moments through their life giving them special and significant items to put into that box. Then, think of that baby all grown up and heading away to college or university with a box containing expressions of faith all along their journey. What a gift! You can make this box for your own children or special kids/students in your life. You can write them letters at significant times, encourage them to keep special mementos, invest in resources along the way - all as part of this box. The items in the box become part of their story of faith and to have people that care invest in that journey is really impactful.
We know the power that words have. For a special birthday or moment in a child or student's life, ask people that know them well to write some words of blessing or encouragement. Take those words and make them into a scrapbook as a gift. Those words will go deep into young hearts and help them realize their value and also recognize those people that care and who are part of the journey.
Each person can find another person to influence.
Each generation has something to offer the next generation. Make these investments in the lives of those around you.
Be part of a bigger story of faith.