Every father leaves a legacy with his children—no exceptions. The only question is, what kind of legacy?

A few years ago, a team of New York state sociologists attempted to calculate the influence of a father’s life on his children and the following generations. In this study, they researched two men who lived in the 18th century. One was Max Jukes, the other Jonathan Edwards. The legacy that each of these men left their descendants stands as a study in contrasts; they are as different as night and day.

Max Jukes was an unbeliever, a man with no principles. His wife also lived and died in unbelief. What kind of a lasting influence did he leave his family? Among the 1,200 known descendants of Max Jukes were:

  • 440 lives of outright debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures)
  • 310 paupers and vagrants
  • 190 public prostitutes
  • 130 convicted criminals
  • 100 alcoholics
  • 60 habitual thieves
  • 55 victims of impurity
  • 7 murderers

Research shows that not one of Jukes’ descendants made a significant contribution to society—not one! To the contrary, this notorious family collectively cost the state of New York $1,200,000.00.

Not much of a legacy.

What about the family of Jonathan Edwards? Regarded as the most brilliant mind America has ever produced, Edwards was a noted pastor and astute theologian. This renowned scholar was the instrument God used to bring about the Great Awakening in colonial America. Later, he served as the president of Princeton College.

Jonathan Edwards came from a godly heritage and married Sarah, a women of great faith. Together, they sought to leave an entirely different legacy. Among his male descendants were:

  • 300 pastors, missionaries , or theological professors
  • 120 college professors
  • 110 lawyers
  • 60 physicians
  • 60 authors of good books
  • 30 judges
  • 14 presidents of universities
  • numerous giants in American industry
  • 3 U.S. congressmen
  • 1 vice-president of the United States

There is scarcely any great American industry that has not had one of Jonathan Edwards descendants as its chief promoter. Such is the lasting influence of a godly man.

Now that’s a legacy!

Every man leaves a lasting influence on his children that will affect future generations for centuries to come. But let’s face it, not all legacies are the same. Some are productive, others destructive. Some are illustrious, others are infamous. How you live your life will affect generations to come. The only question is, what kind of a legacy will you leave behind?


To help you answer that question, I want you to imagine that you have just walked into a church to attend a funeral service. The mood is somber, the crowd quiet. Loved ones are making there way past the open casket for the final viewing of the body. Many are weeping. Some are wiping their eyes with handkerchiefs. A few stand gazing at the lifeless body.

The specific time has now come for the service to begin. As the minister approaches the pulpit, he motions for the congregation to rise. The family of the deceased slowly proceeds down the center aisle to the front.

Anxiously, you look up to identify the family. As you peer into the face of each member, you are in for the shock of your life. Suddenly, you realize this is your family!

You are attending…your funeral!

In stunned disbelief, you respond to the minister’s directions for the congregation to be seated. He begins by expressing his feelings of appreciation for your life. What he says is nice and flattering. But at the same time, his words are generic and impersonal.

Let’s be honest, it’s the words of your family, those closest to you that matter most. What will your wife say about you? What will your children say about you? 

The minister finishes his eulogy and motions to your children to come to the pulpit. They approach the platform, waiting their turn to speak about how you influenced their lives. One by one, your kids reflect on their years with you and share remembrances of you as their dad. They recall incidents you have long forgotten. They remember your impact, reflect on your character, and recite your virtues. 

At this point, all you can do is listen. With riveted attention, you hang on their every word. These are the most important sentences you will ever hear anyone speak about you. Your lasting success as a dad is measured by what they say.

All imagination aside, if you died today, what would your children remember you for? What would be your legacy to them?

What your children take from your life, in large measure, will define your legacy as a dad. Your lasting influence upon their lives will mark whether or not you lived successfully as a dad. This will be your legacy.

*Adapted from the book The Legacy: What Every Father Wants To Leave His Child by Steven J. Lawson, pp. 13-15

20 Ways A Life Coach/Mentor Can Help You


sunset two men fishing

  1. Develop skills in areas like athletics, music, money management, public speaking, parenting, or leadership.

  2. Discover and develop passions.

  3. Find a life purpose.

  4. Build a clearer vision for the future.

  5. Develop a missions statement.

  6. Learn to manage change effectively.

  7. Learn to relate to people effectively.

  8. Find clear values.

  9. Build communication skills.

  10. Appraise performance.

  11. Get out of ruts and move forward.

  12. Learn to think and see things differently.

  13. Expand the capacity to take action.

  14. Get free from self-sabotaging behavior and destructive self-talk.

  15. Build better teams.

  16. Build self-confidence.

  17. Find meaning in what one is doing.

  18. Get the courage to take risks.

  19. Learn to take responsibility.

  20. Develop a closer walk with God.

Christian Coaching

Condensed from Gary Collins. Christian Coaching: Helping Others Turn Potential Into Reality. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2009.

Dr. Ted Engstrom on 4 Steps to Effective Mentoring

“Leadership is both something you are and something you do. A mentor is not a person who can do the work better than his followers; he is a person who can get his followers to do the work better than he can.” – Fred Smith

“We loved you so much that we delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…” – 1 Thessalonians 2:8

(1) Select a mentoree whose philosophy of life you share. Our greatest mentors are those who are also our models.

(2) Choose a person with potential you genuinely believe in. Some of the nation’s greatest athletes have come from tiny schools that receive no publicity. All those ball players needed was for scouts to recognize the potential that great coaching could bring out. The secret of mentoring in any field is to help a person get to where he or she is willing to go.

(3) Evaluate a mentoree’s progress constantly. An honest mentor will be objective. If necessary, he or she will encourage the person to stay on course, to seek another direction, or even to enter into a relationship with another mentor.

(4) Be committed, serious, and available to mentorees. New York Philharmonic Conductor Zubin Mehta said of the young pianist: “I cannot teach him how to play, for he knows what the composer wanted to say; I simply help him say it.”

Dr. Ted W. Engstrom (1916-2006) led several major evangelical institutions – including World Vision, Zondervan Publishing House, Youth For Christ International, and Azusa Pacific University. He wrote or co-authored over 50 books and specialized in mentoring and developing leaders. “His ability to integrate the gospel with everyday life was absolutely inspiring,” said Dean R. Hirsch, head of World Vision International. “Dr. Ted made work and faith walk together.” The excerpt above was adapted from his book The Fine Art of Mentoring, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1989, 24.

15 Great Questions for Personal Evaluation by Carson Pue

(Adapted from *Carson Pue, Mentoring Leaders, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005, p. 243)

 Spiritual Questions

Distractions: Have you used anything other than God in an attempt to meet your emotional or spiritual needs this week?

God’s Word: Have you been purposefully filling your mind with the knowledge of God’s Word daily? If not, how often? How do you plan to change?

Fasting: Have you fasted and prayed in the last month? If not, when was the last time? When have you next scheduled these disciplines?

Obedience: Is your conscience clear? If not, why? How do you plan to attain a clear conscience?

 Physical Health Questions

Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep each night? If not, how much are you getting? How do you plan to change?

Exercise: Are you exercising daily? If not, how often are you exercising? How do you plan to change?

Eating: Are you eating properly? If not, what are you eating/not eating? How do you plan to change?

Substances: Are you abusing harmful substances? If not, when and how often have you taken them? How do you plan to change?

 Action Oriented Questions

Finances: Where are you financially right now? Are things under control? Are you feeling anxious? Is there any great debt? How are you planning to proceed in this area of your life?

Purity: Have you kept your mind pure (thoughts of anger, bitterness, movies, magazines, Internet pornography, other)? If not, when did you fall?

What temptations need to be removed or precautions taken to prevent it?

Material Goods: Do you have anything that is used for evil needing to be destroyed or removed? If so, what? When and how will you (we) destroy or remove them?

Control: Have you lost control either verbally or otherwise since we last met? If so, when? When and how will you do something to restore and correct your actions?

Relational Questions

Deposits: Have you made positive emotional and spiritual deposits with your kids and your spouse? If not, why? What might you be able to do to make this a natural response?

Family: Have you offended any family member since we last met? If so, when? When and how will you restore and correct those actions?

Truthfulness: Have you told the whole truth in your answers to the questions I have asked you? If not, what do you need to correct? What actions do we need to take to stay and remain accountable?

Process: Is the asking of any of these questions adequate for you? If not, what changes are needed? Who else needs to be a part of this process?

*Carson Pue is the Executive Director at First Baptist Church right smack in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Canada. He describes the church this way, “Congregating in this historic stone building in the very heart of the downtown is a community. We are young, old and in-between, rich, poor, employed and re-training, multicultural, families and singles, Bible scholars, seekers. All share a heart for the city.”

For fourteen years Carson served as CEO of Arrow Leadership a ministry recognized as a global leader in Christian leadership development. Arrow develops leaders worldwide “to be led more by Jesus, lead more like Jesus, and to lead more to Jesus.” They have been highly successful in transforming and enriching the lives and  leadership of men and women who are now deployed around the world.

Recognized as a leader of leaders Carson has an ability to identify leaders and invest wisdom into their development through mentoring, teaching and spiritual guidance.He is also best-selling author: “Mentoring Leaders: Wisdom for Developing Character, Calling and Competency” by Baker Books and his new  Mentoring Wisdom: Living and leading well. Carson is known through his speaking at conferences, published articles, national radio programs and commentaries. Through referrals over 50,000 leaders benefit from his monthly leadership emails “To the Point” “Mentoring Questions” and magazine columns.

With his encouraging style, creative ideas, engaging humor and ministry experience, people find Carson well fitted for his role. In a straightforward manner Carson shares both from success and failure in ministry, believing that leaders learn from both. He is a popular keynote speaker on themes around leadership, spiritual development and the realities of being a pastor today.Carson extends his leadership by serving on the board of directors for World Vision,  Crossroad Communications and CTS Television Network. In addition he is an advisor for the boards of The Billy Graham CenterTruefaced, and the Entrepreneurial Leaders Organization.  He is a trusted advisor to Christian leaders across Canada and the USA and connects globally with The Lausanne Movement and World Evangelical Alliance.

When not traveling the world encouraging leaders, he loves sailing with his BFF and first mateBrenda whom he has been married to since 1976. He loves time with his three sons, two daughters by marriage and three grandsons. He is also restored by laughter, sailing, Ireland, writing and spiritual retreats.

What is the Difference Between Discipleship & Mentoring? By Ted Engstrom

“A discipler is one who helps an understudy (1) give up his own will for the will of God the Father, (2) live daily a life of spiritual sacrifice for the glory of Christ, and (3) strive to be consistently obedient to the commands of his Master. A mentor, on the other hand, provides modeling, close supervision on special projects, individualized help in many areas—discipline, encouragement, correction, confrontation, and a calling to accountability.” – Ted Engstrom (The Fine Art of Mentoring, recently re-published by Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2008 )

Dr. Ted W. Engstrom (1916-2006) dedicated his life to effective Christian ministry leadership. His 60 years of Christian service include careers as Christian book editor at Zondervan, president of Youth for Christ International, president of World Vision, and author of more than 50 books. He was a board member for dozens of Christian organizations and assisted religious and political leaders in 136 other countries where he stood as a model of godly leadership.

5 Rules I Follow When Meeting With A Mentor by Perry Noble

From *Perry Noble’s Blog ( March 28, 2012

I originally posted this back in 2008…but I modified it just a tad and really thought it was necessary to share again…I have had the privilege of being mentored by some incredible leaders, some you would know, others you might not–but nonetheless, God has used them to teach me SO MUCH about life and ministry.Over the years I have developed five rules for meeting with a mentor that I would love to share here today…you may agree or disagree, all I know is that they have worked for me.

 #1 – I Always Adjust To Their Schedule–ALWAYS!

 When I am attempting to set up an appointment with someone I want to meet with–I always ask them (or their assistant) to throw two or three dates at me that is most convenient for them…and then I adjust my schedule to make the meeting happen.I NEVER send them the times I want and then ask them to adjust their schedules. I am the one who wants the meeting…and if they are available to me I will bend over backwards to hang out with them.

#2 – I Am Always Early For The Appointment

If I am driving from out of town I always make sure I arrive around 30 minutes early. If I get there TOO early then I will find a coffee shop–OR break out a book (ALWAYS have a book with you.)  AND…if I see I am going to be late because of traffic or unforeseen circumstance I always give them (or their assistant) a call informing them that I am on my way.  (I do this EVEN if I am going to be five minutes late–to me it’s simply a matter of respect.) Usually I will arrive at the person’s office to meet them about 15 minutes early…and quite a few times the person I am meeting with has been ready, thus giving me “bonus time!”

#3 – I Have A List Of At Least Five Questions That I Want To Ask.

I remember John Maxwell saying to me once, “I will mentor you, but you have to ask the questions. I am not preparing a lesson for you…YOU guide this meeting. If you want to know something–ASK. If you don’t ask anything then we don’t really have anything to talk about.” SO…anytime I meet with a mentor (especially JOHN) I am LOADED with questions. Sometimes I get them all answered…sometimes I don’t…but I NEVER walk into a meeting without having a list of what I would like to know.

#4 – I Don’t Talk About Myself Unless They Ask.

When I meet with a mentor I don’t spend 30 minutes telling them about myself, my daily routine, my philosophy of ministry and how good I think I am. I ask questions and then SHUT UP! If I disagree I do not argue; in fact, if I disagree with something I will usually ask them to explain their point of view a little more…which often times has helped me in SO many ways as I have learned that I really can love people even if we disagree!  If they ask me a question in regards to what I believe about certain things then I will answer…if not then I will keep on asking them my questions. They didn’t ask to meet with me…I wanted to meet with them–TO LEARN from them, not debate them.

#5 – I Always Send A Note/Gift Saying Thanks.

I haven’t done this until recently…but anytime someone gives me time I will send them a Starbucks gift card or a restaurant gift card–just to thank them for the time. (And I jot them about a four sentence note–NOT A BOOK, but a note.) Those are my rules…hope they help!

*Perry Noble is the Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, located in Anderson, SC.

20 Questions to Ask in Getting to Know Your Mentoree/Disciple by Bobb Biehl

*(Adapted from Bobb Biehl, Mentoring, pp. 197-200)

1)    What do you see as your top three strengths in rank order?

2)    What ten specific measurable things do you want to get done before age 65?

3)    What do you consider your lifework?

4)    What are your three deepest personal needs which make you potentially vulnerable…morally, ethically or legally?

5)    Which three people threaten you most personally? Why?

6)    Who are the three people who are (or could be) your mentors/disciplers?

7)    Who are three people who could be your mentorees/disciples?

8)    What is your “preferred ideal hope-to-have-someday” title (president, doctor, teacher, friend, encourager, leader, etc.)?

9)    What three things would you most like to change about yourself if you could? Why?

10) What three things are you most committed to doing before you die?

11) What three things do you feel are your greatest roadblocks in your life at this point?

12) In what three areas would you most like to grow personally in the next one to five years?

13) What one to three things are keeping you from being as close to God as you would like?

14) How do you picture yourself in ten years, ideally?

15) What one subject would you most like to share from your heart of hearts that you have never been able to put into words?

16) What have been your life’s: a) Milestones? b) Traumas? c) Questions?

17) How would you describe your general style of leading?

18) How would you describe your relationship with each of your immediate family members when you were growing up?

19) What three relational bridges do you need/want to rebuild?

20) Who are your five closest friends? Why?

Bobb Biehl is an Executive Mentor. His personal dream is “Strengthening Christian Leaders Internationally”. In 1976, he founded Masterplanning Group International. As its president, he has consulted personally with over 500 clients. In that time, he has met one-to-one with over 5,000 executives (board members, senior executives, and staff members) and invested an estimated 50,000 hours in private sessions with some of the finest leaders of our generation. His clients are primarily: For-profit corporations; Government agencies; Large or fast-growing churches and Nonprofit organizations. Bobb is a proven “Behind the Scenes” leader. He consistently brings practical / proven insight to the process of Leading, Managing, and Living life. His experience is reflected in all of the practical proven tools available on this web site … each designed to make you an even stronger Christian leader.

What is Biblical Mentoring? By David P. Craig

Mentoring: What it is and Why it’s Practice is Crucial

Mentoring is a relational experience in which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources.” – Paul Stanley & J.R. Clinton

Discipling is a relational process in which a more experienced follower of Christ shares with a newer believer the commitment, understanding, and basic skills necessary to know and obey Jesus as Lord.” – Paul Stanley & J.R. Clinton

“A discipler is one who helps an understudy (1) give up his own will for the will of God the Father, (2) live daily a life of spiritual sacrifice for the glory of Christ, and (3) strive to be consistently obedient to the commands of his Master. A mentor, on the other hand, provides modeling, close supervision on special projects, individualized help in many areas—discipline, encouragement, correction, confrontation, and a calling to accountability.” – Ted Engstrom (The Fine Art of Mentoring)

Mentoring is a process of opening our lives to others, of sharing our lives with others; a process of living for the next generation.” – Ron Lee Davis

“If you are planting for a year, plant grain.

If you are planting for a decade, plant trees.

If you are planting for a century, plant people.” – Old Chinese Proverb

  • More time spent with fewer people equals greater lasting impact for God. – Principle of Mentoring from the Life of Jesus
  • Some Biblical Examples of Mentoring: Moses mentored Joshua, Naomi mentored her daughter-in-law, Ruth, Ezra mentored Nehemiah, Elijah mentored Elisha, Elizabeth mentored her cousin Mary. Barnabas mentored Paul and John Mark, Paul mentored his spiritual son Timothy. Paul also mentored Priscilla and Aquila, who in turn mentored Apollos.

Mentor #1 – Who Is Your Paul or Elizabeth?

  • Do you have a spiritual mentor who is pouring his/her life into you the way Paul poured his life into Timothy or Elizabeth poured her life into her cousin Mary?
  • Do you have someone you can go to for wise counsel?
  • Do you have someone who is a godly example for you and a model worth imitating?
  • Do you have someone who lives out biblical values and spiritual maturity?
  • Do you have someone with solid skills that can help you improve where you are weak?


(Adapted from Ron Lee Davis, Mentoring, pp. 50-51, unfortunately out of print)

A willingness to spend the time it takes to build an intensely bonded relationship with the learner.

A commitment to believing in the potential and future of the learner; to telling the learner what kind of exciting future you see ahead for him or her; to visualizing and verbalizing the possibilities of his or her life.

A willingness to be vulnerable and transparent before the learner, willing to share not only strengths and successes, but also weaknesses, failures, brokenness, and sins.

A willingness to be honest yet affirming in confronting the learner’s errors, faults, and areas of immaturity.

A commitment to standing by the learner through trials—even trials that are self-inflicted as a result of ignorance or error.

A commitment to helping the learner set goals for his or her spiritual life, career, or ministry, and to helping the learner dream his or her dream.

A willingness to objectively evaluate the learner’s progress toward his or her goal.

Above all, a commitment to faithfully put into practice all that one teaches the learner.

“Be what you would have your pupils to be.” – Thomas Carlyle

“A mentor is not a person who can do the work better than his followers. He is a person who can get his followers to do the work better than he can.” – Fred Smith

“In truth, the deepest dimensions of the Christian life cannot simply be taught in a classroom or a book. They must be heard, seen, studied intently, handled, lived, and experienced in order to be proven and assimilated.” – Ron Lee Davis

Mentor #2 – Who is Your Barnabas?

  • Do you have someone in your life to encourage you?
  • Do you have someone to believe in you, support you, and guide you?

Encouragement: “is the kind of expression that helps someone want to be a better Christian, even when life is rough.” – Dr. Larry Crabb

“A person is never more like Christ than when full of compassion for those who are down, needy, discouraged, or forgotten.” – Chuck Swindoll

Lessons From Barnabas:

1)    He was generous with his finances (Acts 4:32-37).

2)    He reached out to Paul when everyone else was skeptical about him (Acts 9:26-31 & 11:25-30).

3)    He spent time with Mark when he had failed (Acts 15:36-39)

The Results of Barnabas’ Encouragement:  If it were not for Barnabas we would not have Paul’s epistles nor Mark’s gospel; nor the rapid spread of the gospel.

 Four Key’s to Barnabas’ Life (Acts 11:24):

1)    He was a man of integrity.

2)    He was a man full of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 26).

3)    He was a man full of faith.

4)    He was teachable. (Acts 13:43, 50)

#3 Mentoree – Who is Your Timothy or Mary?

  • Do you have someone in whom to invest your own life?
  • If married, you should look at your spouse, children, or grandchildren as “Timothy’s” or “Mary’s,” but is there anyone outside your family in whom you are investing?
  • You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others. –  2 Tim. 2:1-2

 What Mentoring is in a Nutshell?

Relational – The you in v.2 above refers to Timothy and the me refers to the Apostle Paul. People learn how to better love and follow Jesus in the context of a focused friendship.

Personal – The basics that Timothy learned from Paul were mediated through his unique personality, gifting, and style.

Theologically Grounded – Paul is faithfully delivering what he himself received from many witnesses or marturon (“martyrs”). In the first century a martyr denoted a public witness to the truth. The meaning of the word martyr into its present meaning is evidence that Christian truth-telling could be terminally costly. In the Greek the word entrust means making a secure run to the bank to deposit a treasure.

Intentional – All of us are involved in hundreds of unintentional relationships. However, in the case of Paul and Timothy we see a relationship that was established for a specific purpose.

Transformational – Mentoring involves study; reflection; action; and receptivity.

Reproducible who will be able to teach others.

 The Power of Multiplication

(adapted from Keith Philips, The Making of a Disciple, p. 23)

Year                        Evangelist                        Discipler

1                        365                                     2

2                        730                                    4

3                        1095                                    8

4                        1460                                    16

5                        1825                                    32

6                        2190                                    64

7                        2555                                    128

8                        2920                                    256

9                        3285                                    512

10                        3650                                    1,024

11                        4015                                    2,048

12                        4380                                    4,096

13                        4745                                    8,192

14                        5110                                    16,384

15                        5475                                    32,768

16                        5840                                    65,536


*Keith’s chart compares the numeric difference between one person coming to Christ a day and one person a year being discipled to maturity. Catch the vision and start making disciples now!

A Great Visual of The Power of Making Multiplying Disciples

 The Power of Multiplication

(adapted from Keith Philips, The Making of a Disciple, p. 23)

Year                Evangelist                   Discipler

1                      365                              2

2                      730                              4

3                      1095                            8

4                      1460                            16

5                      1825                            32

6                      2190                            64

7                      2555                            128

8                      2920                            256

9                      3285                            512

10                    3650                            1,024

11                    4015                            2,048

12                    4380                            4,096

13                    4745                            8,192

14                    5110                            16,384

15                    5475                            32,768

16                    5840                            65,536


*Keith’s chart compares the numeric difference between one person coming to Christ a day and one person a year being discipled to maturity. Catch the vision and start making disciples now!

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