Maximizing Your Impact Together
By Amanda DeWitt
When you think about legacy, what comes to your mind? And when you look at your own life, what legacy do you hope to leave behind?
For most of us legacy looks like the faces of the ones we love. We want the toddler holding our hand, the grandchildren laughing in our living room, or the students learning in our classroom to know how deeply we care about them — and ultimately come to know the God we serve.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.”
All of us learn best in the context of safe, secure relationships — from the earliest age they are the conduit for passing on faith. Here are four ways you can build relationships with those you care about most and pass on faith to the next generation.
1. Play Together
Both children and adults need lighthearted times to learn and feel loved. When your children are small, take advantage of every opportunity to play. Go to the park. Bake cookies. Paint, color, or craft.
As your children grow, look for other ways to connect over fun activities. Do they enjoy sports? Spend a Saturday morning throwing a football, riding bikes, or shooting baskets. If your children are artistic or musical, find a special art exhibit or concert you can attend together.
Even adults need time away and a chance to relax. If you are mentoring a young adult, take a painting class together. If you know a college student far from home, invite them into your home for a meal. If your children are grown, schedule a family vacation together.
We never outgrow play in its various forms. And amidst the fun, honest conversations happen. Words of encouragement and wisdom shape us. Moments filled with laughter etch into our memory.
In these times we experience what it means to be known and loved — and we have opportunities to talk with others about Jesus, the One who cares deeply about the hurts we feel, joys we celebrate, and offers hope for any situation we face.
2. Pray Together
We need lighthearted memories with those we love, but we also need a safe place to share and pray too. We all need people who will pray — really pray — when asked.
When your children are young, pray together before meals or at bedtime. Set the example, but also encourage them to pray too. Talk to them about how to pray and remind them that God hears when they talk to Him. Consider memorizing prayers from Scripture, such as the Lord’s Prayer.
As your children grow, keep praying together. And always pray for them. Tuck a note inside their lunchbox letting them know you prayed for them. Send them a text when they come to your mind.
Be a safe, confidential person that people can come to with personal requests. Pray faithfully when friends or family members ask. Follow up at the right time and ask how things are going. One of the best ways we can build a relationship with someone is by walking through life with them in prayer.
3. Serve Together
Practicing priorities together builds relationships and transfers faith. Make a commitment as a family, among friends, or even in your classroom, that you will serve together.
Let young children be a part of providing Christmas gifts for a child in need. Collect, package, and deliver meals in partnership with your local food pantry or church. Choose items from a gift catalog, and let everyone in your classroom, family, or small group contribute.
As your children grow, give together and also go together. Meet the tangible needs of a neighbor, serve in your community, or join a domestic or international mission trip.
When you serve together, the people around you see your faith is real — it compels you to action so that others may know the kindness and hope of Jesus.
4. Celebrate Together
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, remember to celebrate together. Focus on faith and pass on meaningful traditions and experiences to your family.
As your schedule allows, spend the week of Christmas baking, reading, and talking about the real meaning of Christmas. Use our FREE Hope and Seek Adventure word search and spend a few minutes doing the puzzle and discussing each word you find. Talk about God’s gift to us and ways you can share His hope with others this season.
Keep celebrating throughout the year too. With a little research you will find that most of the holidays we enjoy have a spiritual component or are rooted in Christian history. Talk about the true meaning of each and how they teach us something about God and His generosity.
With a little time and intentionality, you can build strong, lasting relationships with those you love. And as you play, pray, serve, and celebrate together, you can pass on faith to the next generation — teaching others about the kindness and hope of Jesus.
You can maximize your impact even more!
When you give to the Maximum Impact Fund at Unto, you ensure agile, effective ministry continues during these unprecedented times. The fund provides support where most urgently needed for the ministry’s three programs: Food and Agriculture, Clean Water, and Critical Aid. It also enables a quick response to emergency requests.
Published December 21, 2020
Amanda is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Gift for Leadership, Kindred Spirit, and Christianity Today publications. She holds a M.A. in Media and Communication from Dallas Theological Seminary.