How will the decisions you make as a leader today, impact the world for Christ tomorrow? Who will you encourage and equip to be better and reach farther in the unique role God has designed for them? You won’t know unless you step up, step out and invest in them.
Here is a brief story of just such an investment…
Walking down the long farm lane in the beautiful hills outside of Knoxville, I couldn’t help but give quiet thanks to God for playing a small role in a much bigger story. I had just performed the wedding of a young couple. Nick had graduated from Asbury University in Wilmore, KY, the previous weekend, and Mary Nell has two years to go. They have an awesome heart for Christ, others, and love for the outdoors. He is also our new youth pastor at church. But the story and our connection goes back much further.
In the late 50’s my father was working at the Bluebird Bus factory in Fort Valley, Georgia. He worked the long days in the factory and slept in the bunk house with other workers at night. His heart was already stirred by a calling to ministry, encouraged by his older brother who was entering the ministry. However, pursuing this educationally was not a financial option. Still, he did his best to witness for Christ each day, something that didn’t go unnoticed. One day he was called into the office of the owner and President, Mr. AL “Buddy” Luce. Fearing for his job and wondering what he might have done, he was relieved when Mr. Luce simply began to ask him about his life, his hopes and his calling. Mr. Luce quickly got to the point and made dad a deal, “Come and work for me in the summers, keep your grades up, and I will pay to send you to Asbury College to pursue your calling.” Dad was stunned, grateful, excited and scared all at once. The next thing you know he was on a bus and off to the faraway country of Kentucky. The rest is history yet unfolding. He would meet my mom, graduate college and seminary at Asbury, and they served the Lord for over 50 years in ministry. As a matter of fact they are still serving today, along with two sons, a daughter, grandson and a host of young men and women who have followed their own callings into ministry, missions, education, business and more. But our family hasn’t been the only ones by far.
Throughout the years the Luce family has continued investing in young lives through various scholarships, endowments, and other channels of generosity unseen and unsung. The young couple I had just married is one of those as the Luce family is supporting her education through one of their scholarships. We had no idea about this connection when we first met and called this couple to work with our youth. The wedding itself was hosted by the Luce family at their Ivy Hill Farm.
Sitting around a reception table with the grown grandkids of AL “Buddy” Luce, I had the privilege of sharing the story of how God has used the generous investment of their grandfather to leave a legacy. This legacy continues to be passed down and spread wide for Christ and His kingdom still today.
How is God calling you to invest in someone today? You may not be able to send a host of kids to college to pursue their dreams. However, what each of us can do as servant leaders, we must do! Your encouragement and your support of the emerging generation will set wheels in motion that will impact the world in ways you will only know in eternity. Our family’s life and legacy was set in motion long ago at the Bluebird Bus factory and I give God thanks every time I see one of these busses. Where will your legacy begin? Invest in someone for Christ today!
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