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Leaving a Legacy (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 7 of 8
I drew from the legacy of Joy's dad quite heavily, because I saw how he did family devotions. I saw how he had family time with the grandchildren - family holidays. I learned a lot from just watching him, and drew from what he built over years.

Your family watch your life with God. You cannot hide from your family, the life you have with God. They see it, and what they see, they'll either want it; or they'll look at it and say: it isn't real, it's not there.

A second thing you can do, in building a legacy of faith in your family, is deal with generational inequity. The Bible says in Exodus 20 that generational curses and sin have an impact and an influence in the family - so take responsibility and deal with it in your own life, so the legacy of blessing continues to be passed on to your family.

A third thing you could do, to build a legacy of faith, is cultivate your family spiritual life. Don't leave it to the church to raise your children. Your children are your children. You invest in them - so start by setting up a family devotion. Have a time to read the Bible and pray together.

We used to do it every morning, without fail, every day. Read and pray together; and in the evening time, pray when children go to bed. These are simple things, but it's only in the doing of them that you see the blessing.

Have times of worship in the family, times to share what God has been showing you. Teach them how to hear the voice of God, and share what God is speaking to them. This is how you build an atmosphere in the home. Use your home for hospitality, so your family see other people coming in, and there being a generosity with what you have. That helps build and cultivate something godly in your family.

Have people in who are men of God, who can share and pray with your kids. Take them on a personal experience to mission somewhere. Almost all of our children have gone with me to the mission field at some time. It didn't happen by accident, it cost us, but it was intentional to help them see what God is doing on a global scale.

Think about praying for them when they have a need; teach them to pray about their needs, and pray for one another. These are simple things, but if you don't intentionally do it, you'll drift into leaving church to fill the needs that only you can. The church, in one or two hours, can never substitute for a spiritual life, and an atmosphere in the home.

If you're going to build a successful spiritual life, you'll need to actually set some boundaries in the home. My children didn't always like the boundaries - I remember one time, one of my teenagers said: you've ruined my life; you've ruined my life completely! I said: no, I haven't ruined your life. I just said ‘you can't go there’ - and we rung up to make sure that there were some boundaries around it. We did those kinds of things.

And here's the last one: be connected, and committed into the local church. Why? Because it's God's family, and your family watch how you interact and talk about the church.

I have observed this: when people love the church, and are engaged in it, something is imparted to their family. We've actually got three generations serving in the church at the moment. It didn't happen by accident. It's an intentional thing.

They worked on building a love for the house of God, and they showed it by example. People listen when you start to talk, and criticise, and run down - they quietly listen, and they make a decision: I'm having nothing to do with this. They become offended, in a way that they need to be protected from.