My dad—Bob—mom—Hazel—and my daughter, Diandra, recently traveled together to Kenya and Tanzania to preach and minister.
The last time they traveled together Diandra was only 3 years old, so this was a momentous family occasion.
Their journey together has put me in a very contemplative space where I’m doing a lot of thinking about family, heritage and vision.
My father received his vision and calling at seven years of age. I grew up on the mission field with parents who impressed spiritual purpose and destiny upon my brother, sister and me. From a young age I heard stories in the Bible of how God uses young people as agents of change. It emboldened me to make a difference in God’s Kingdom. I believed it, so I lived it.
My wife, Kim, and I consciously made the decision not to let culture shape our daughters but to be intentional about passing on the rich tradition our parents had bestowed on us. We talked often about their godly family heritage to help them form their life trajectories. When each of my daughters was thirteen, they spent the year traveling with me and working on the mission field. This has made a lasting impact on their lives.
My daughters, Diandra and Natasha, belong to a generation of Western believers that has a big heart for social justice—intent on binding up wounds, feeding the hungry, providing shelter and clothing for those in need. But their generation, with all its zeal for social justice, seems to be less passionate about spiritual justice.
My daughters are taking strong stands to impact their world as they passionately impart spiritual justice through their unique callings in life. They exemplify that there is no division between compassion and evangelism—one is born of the other—and they are truly building the Kingdom via acts of love and charity along with proclamation of the truth.
Social justice is born of spiritual justice, and can only be achieved when we share the story of redemption with those who have not yet heard it and when we model it by our loving actions.
Sometimes when I look at the brokenness of this world—past, present, and surely in the future—I thank God for the deep, rich spiritual heritage of family. I think of churches like Christ Fellowship where a father who started a church in his own home decades ago has transitioned leadership to his son, the lead pastor to more than 30,000 people on multiple campuses in South Florida. This is deep. And rich. And good.
As I think about my family and many others around the world, I pray for you. I pray because you are parenting, raising and mentoring the next generation of missionaries, spiritual leaders, visionaries, pastors and Christians. I pray boldness for you to cast strong vision and instill purpose and destiny in the young people that will carry today’s torch into tomorrow. Whether your family carries a long history of spiritual heritage, or whether you are first generation Christians, I pray for you to continue to cast vision onto the next generations to come.
Hope Delivered book pages 10, 13