Located in Ventura, California, Barna Group has been considered to be a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture since its start in 1984. President David Kinnaman, also a best-selling author, recently taught at a conference workshop where he shared five ways we will be defined in our lifetime. In attendance was our friend John Scroggins, Executive Director of The Baton Exhange, a young professional leadership development and mentoring organization. What five things do you think positively impact the legacy we leave?
- The books we read;
- the people we spend time with;
- the work ethic we have;
- the rest ethic we have;
- what we do to nourish and advance our spiritual life and the spiritual lives of others.
Let’s look at each of these a bit more closely:
The books we read – Books change our lives. And good books change our lives for the good. Do you have a reading plan for this year, this month, this week, today? If not, build one. Read to develop yourself. Read to expand your horizons and to dream bigger. Read to be inspired. Read to see how others have overcome obstacles in pursuit of their calling. Read.
The people we spend time with – Do you invest in people that can help you grow or do you spend time with people that pull you down? Yes, we all need to invest in others that need us. But make sure that we also spend time with people that inspire us and can help us develop. Find a mentor and with careful respect for their time, make sure you are connecting with them regularly. Then, be a mentor to someone else – intentionally mentoring them to help them grow and develop into the best version of themselves!
The work ethic we have – When you’re at work, are you focused? Are you productive? Do you have a daily plan that you follow so that you get your most important tasks and projects done? Or are you at the whim of your e-mail and your phone – putting out fires for others and never getting to the most important parts of your job? Take charge of your career and be known as someone who works hard, works smart, and then goes home on time to ensure balance in your life.
The rest ethic we have – What do you do when you’re not working? With your spouse, make sure to develop pastimes and hobbies – you’ll enjoy life and find yourself more energized and more creative at work and in the volunteer work you do. And remember to rest as well. God made the Sabbath for a reason – give yourself one day a week to truly rest, renew and recharge. The Book of Genesis says that after creating all that there is, “God rested.” If God rested, we too should rest!
What we do to nourish and advance our spiritual life and the spiritual lives of others – Where are you in your spiritual journey? Are you giving yourself permission and time to nourish your spiritual life and to help others nourish theirs? We are not just mind and body – we are mind, body and spirit. Grow spiritually – connect with the God who made you – it’s where real life is found!
With these five key points in mind, may we all work to be more intentional about the future legacy we are building today.