I was reading a piece by novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux in the Los Angeles Times recently, and he was asked about writing that stands up over the years. He said, “A lot of books that you read as a youth don’t stand up. “A Catcher in the Rye” didn’t stand up. “On the Road” didn’t stand up. Henry Miller doesn’t stand up. But at the time [when you’re 18], you’re thinking, “God, this is great!” Even “The Stranger,” Albert Camus, didn’t stand up. But … you reread
Back in the fifties through the eighties, there were some massive evangelistic and social service ministries created that did amazing work around the world (and some still are). From Campus Crusade, The Jesus Film Project, Feed the Children, the Navigators, The Gideons – plus big evangelistic organizations like Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, and many more, these ministry and nonprofit organizations had a global impact and raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the effort. But today some of the large, legacy ministries are struggling. After seeing many of these organizations from the inside, and from my experience engaging today’s culture, here’s five things these organizations need to do to transition and stay relevant to the next generation:
While writing my book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” I learned that Henry Ford was quite remarkable at many different things. He was an expert watch repairman by age fifteen, later an apprentice machinist, a steam engine operator, and eventually trained in bookkeeping. All of those skills could have landed him a good job and solid career. But the one big thing that he focused his life on was inventing the automobile. Based on that insight, there are two important things I’ve learned from reading about Henry Ford:
While watching the news coverage of Walter Cronkite’s death this week, I started thinking of comparisons to pop star Michael Jackson. I realized that Michael had “fans,” and Walter had “admirers.” People loved Michael’s music and what he did on the stage. His personal life however, left much to be desired. Walter Cronkite on the other hand wasn’t terribly spectacular, but he was brilliant at his job, and it literally impacted an entire nation. Personally, Cronkite was married for nearly sixty-five years to Mary Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Maxwell Cronkite. They were married on March 30, 1940, and remained together until her death in 2005. Jackson on the other hand had
One thing we also need to discuss when it comes to the transition to the next generation is legacy issues. How should the founder be remembered? The Billy Graham organization is asking some of these questions as they opened their library and museum yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ve also found that legacy projects are a way to keep the first generation leader occupied while the second generation leader tries to make his way and launch his own effort in ministry.
Before we get to that, let me say