In each Epistle, this column features a single question to which our pastors are asked to reply. It is usually connected to the issue’s theme and crafted to reveal the unique personalities and experiences of our beloved leaders.

What impact do you hope to leave on the next generation?

Pastor June Barrow
I did not have to think long before it was clear that the legacy I care most about passing on is the one to my children and grandchildren. I want them to know the many stories of God’s goodness and work in my life and our family. I want to share God’s grace with many people, but at the end of the day, my heart is at home.

Pastor Steven Grant
I hope to have impressed upon some of the next generations the importance of studying and understanding history. However, what is most important is that I hope God has enabled me to effectively advocate by word and example an unshakeable commitment to the authority of God’s Word and an ever-growing love for and ever-deepening discipleship of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Su Kim
The Bible tells us that covenant commitment to the Lord is to be a family matter that is “impressed” or repeated regularly (Deuteronomy 6:7). I hope  that those I have the privilege and joy of impacting in the next generation all know and live out the fullness and joy of following the Lord’s  commandments, for “His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 ESv).

Pastor Doug Pratt
For over 30 years, I have felt a leading from the Lord to invest part of my time as a pastor in helping to mentor and raise up the next generation of  pastors and leaders for the American church. Before coming to First Church 17 years ago, I supervised interns and seminary students and led a  monthly gathering of younger pastors in our presbytery. Since coming to Bonita Springs, I have been able to mentor our younger pastors and start a  mentorship program through seminaries with whom we work which allows us to bring students to our campus to learn about the practical dimensions of ministry. I hope that, when I finish my professional work, there will be one or more pastors who are effectively carrying on the work of the Church of Christ partly through my influence.

Pastor Brad Rogers
I am becoming an anomaly. I have watched as many of my peers have moved toward a progressive worldview, which often includes criticism of religion in general and Christianity specifically. As my friends continue to move away from a Christian perspective and become more critical of  Christians, they will need to reconcile that worldview with their relationship with me, an evangelical Christian pastor. To them, I hope to be a positive witness. I hope that my impact will be a thoughtful, paradoxical, and winsome presentation of the gospel for the Christian community, one that creates room for the next generation to hold a biblical worldview despite growing opposition.

Pastor Allen Walworth
Those who went before us planted trees for us to climb, paid for schools to educate us, and built churches to nurture us in the faith. We live on a full-ride scholarship from their generosity and faithfulness. I hope to pay those gifts forward to those who carry the baton for the next lap, both in my own family and in the broader family of God.