When I first became a Christian, it was amazing how many people God brought into my life who were willing to pour into me, whether relationally or financially. As a teenager with a passionate and burgeoning relationship with Jesus, I was astonished by the goodness of others, and to this day, I’m overwhelmed by the love of those who played a part in developing a firm foundation for my faith. In particular, I remember one gentleman who offered me $50 a week to play guitar for a little high school group he was leading. Though it doesn’t seem like much now, I was completely blown away by his generosity (to this hungry teenager, that was like 460 cups of Ramen). Amazingly enough, this guy turned out to be my father-in-law, yet clearly his influence in my life began long before I married his daughter. To this day, he continues to give liberally, and I remain inspired by his passion for helping young people grow in their faith by showing generosity in ways that speak directly to their hearts.
My friend, whether you think so or not, you are a leader because you have influence. As a parent, grandparent, employee, friend, or church member, your life is shaping and impacting those around you, which is why it’s important to be intentional about the decisions you make and the opportunities you take. Every time you choose to give selflessly to someone else, you are forming an indelible imprint on their life. Never underestimate the power you have to shape the future of another, and proactively look for ways to lead the next generation to Jesus through kindness, wisdom, and generosity.