Creating a Lasting Impact
Written by Brandon Allen
Executive Director | Fortify Foundation
How much of the past would you change if you could see into the future? I’m not necessarily talking about changing the mistakes we’ve made (although I’m sure we would all like to address one or two of those along the way), but more so considering the investments we have all made. I look back to all the people that have made personal investments in my own life. I am grateful for my second grade Sunday School teacher who shared a clear presentation of the gospel so that I might understand my need personally for a Savior. I am thankful for friends who have steered me in the right direction when culture was sharing otherwise. I am thankful for mentors who understood the need to train younger men and considered me a wise (or at least decent) investment. In looking back and thinking about all that has impacted my own life, I must sit back and wonder at times… How am I investing? What kind of impact am I having in other people’s lives? If we all give some consideration to this thought, there is no doubt in my mind that this will change the way we think and act. Answering these very questions will help us understand our purpose and calling. It encourages our drive as we get out of bed each and every day. I think this is what excites me most when I have the privilege of talking about investing. It is not just about money and returns, it is about impact.
As I look into the future, my desire is to create more impact as I move forward than what I have created in the past. We all no doubt have similar thoughts and goals in this area. However, it is not until we evaluate what we are currently doing that we will be able to assess what that new future might look like. As Christian educators, it is our vision to see the next generation impacted with a Biblical worldview. We all know that our culture is actively training against that worldview. It is kind of like what S. Baring-Gould said in that infamous hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers, marching as to war!” We are on the front lines. We are the ones who are going to make a difference in generations to come! We are now the ones who are making the investment. We are mentors, friends, and classroom/Sunday School teachers that other kids will someday look back on. Doesn’t that get you excited? Doesn’t that make you want to press on? As we look back, hopefully, there will be a testimony of the one or two lives that we have impacted. However, it should not be our aim to stop there. The principle of sowing and reaping is that we will not reap where we do not sow.
It is also that we will not reap more than what we have sown. Knowing this, we should want to sow as much as we possibly can while we can. We should want to have the opportunity to fill our classrooms with as many students as we are able. We should have visions of future facilities that will cater to long-term growth. Yes, I believe that as long as God tarries, we all have the ability to see Him do great and even impossible things in the time that we have left! The thing is, that can only happen as we plan for it.
As we age, we tend to look back at the glory days. There may very well be some fond memories of the past and much that we have to be thankful for. But even the wise Solomon reminded us in Ecclesiastes 7:10 not too long for the ‘good ol’ days.’ This does not mean that we should not learn from the past, but that when we do, we must also give some consideration to the future. We must plan in order to see growth. That is the beauty of what we are trying to accomplish at Fortify Foundation. We want to see schools fortified in such a way that there’s not an overwhelming concern as to what the future might look like. We just want to help you plan today for the benefit of tomorrow. We want to consider the past and invest in the future. We want to make a greater impact.