On Leaving A Legacy

Recently I got to witness something remarkable – a true legacy. In my duties as a hospice chaplain, I get to meet many families. Few have made such an impact on their community more than Mr. Joe. It wasn’t that Mr. Joe was blind. Many people are. It wasn’t just that he worked decades at a slaughterhouse while blind, remarkable as that was (truly blind, not just legally blind.) It wasn’t that he still worked his farm everyday while blind nor taught dozens of teens how to drive while blind (as scary as that sounds, it also explains a lot…) What impressed those of us who tended to him during his last few weeks on earth was the legacy he left behind in his family.

His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were there. Not just physically, they were present with him. Not on phones or tablets or gaming systems – they were present to attend to the needs of him and his wife. The vast majority of them are all active in church. They treated those of us coming into the home to help care for him as family, not just hired help. As chaplain I get to stay with the family following death and the same treatment continues. The family is genuine and their faith is evident. This is the impressive legacy.

Stories of Mr. Joe are many and legendary in his community. More important than the stories, as compelling and entertaining as they are, is the legacy of a godly, caring family that he has left behind. They will, God willing, continue to impact the community for the kingdom of heaven. I can only pray that when my time comes, my family will show such a legacy. What about yours?

Tuesday Book Review — Listening Skills

Yes, yes, I know that I normally post these on Wednesdays, but due to a busy schedule we are putting it up early this week. This is a good read for all ministers and those who desire to become better listeners. I would recommend that everyone in a church leadership position be required to read this.

Listening & Caring Skills: A Guide for Groups and LeadersListening & Caring Skills: A Guide for Groups and Leaders by John S. Savage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A required read for a class I am taking this summer, I approached the book with some skepticism. I have been pleasantly surprised to find this book practical. While I might use different terms than the author to describe some of the skills mentioned, I have no real quibble with his observations. This book is good for both individuals and groups. What has been fascinating to me, is reading about a particular tactic used and thinking, “hey, that’s what I’ve been doing,” without knowing what the label was. Grab it, it will help you become a better listener.

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