This is what a legacy looks like:
This is a picture of a man named Alger Monson (right-center, glasses and burgundy button-down shirt) and his family: four children, their spouses, and their combined children, 13 cousins in all. This photo was taken in the late 1980’s. Today, the cousins are all grown up and married, the majority (if not all) of them walking with the Lord and many of them in full-time ministry throughout North America.
My youth pastor became their youth pastor at their church in a small town in rural Wisconsin, which is where I first met the family. At least a half-dozen of the extended Monson clan then became youth leaders, camp staff, or interns with me in various ministries in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The children and grandchildren are now scattered around the country and even around the world, but all of them hopped the first plane back home when they heard Alger had taken ill. Late Wednesday night, Alger Monson passed from this life to eternity, having finished the race set before him as a devoted father, husband, grandfather, and follower of Christ. He was 82.
You’ve probably never heard of Alger. He wasn’t a famous blogger, speaker, pastor or author. He didn’t lead a mega-church or start a well-known ministry. But it is not an exaggeration to say that together over the years, Alger, his wife, his children, grandchildren and their spouses have impacted thousands of people for Christ. All because one man determined to faithfully follow God, and to teach his family to do the same.
No, you’ve probably never heard of Alger Monson. But one day in heaven you will meet plenty of people who have, and who are there because of his influence. That is what a legacy looks like.