Building a Legacy of Faith through Family Reunions

Kim Sullivan

January 11, 2016

Legacy is a word often associated with someone who has recently deceased. But how can we be sure that we are creating a godly legacy before we enter the pearly gates? With the age of electronics and generational mobility, oral history is in jeopardy of extinction. How do we preserve our family history in an engaging way?

One way is through family reunions. Every couple of years my family has a gathering of "the Aunts”. The females of the family gather at a central location surrounded by our matriarchal women. This is a weekend filled with storytelling, recipe swapping, and catching up. It is also a time for healing, tears, and lots of laughter. Here are a few tips you might consider before attempting a similar gathering of your own.

1. Location doesn’t really matter

We have focused on staying at a relatively inexpensive hotel in a central location. If we were to have this type of gathering at one of our homes, it would mean a lot of planning and work for that person. So, instead we have some time away without thinking about meal planning and cleaning up the kitchen. This way we can focus on each other, rather than all of our duties. If we were to go to a fancy resort, the amenities would compete for our attention.

2. Don’t make any plans

Because the primary focus is on spending time with one another, activities and plans can get in the way of that objective. We make plans for where we will eat, and beyond that we keep a clean slate. Often, the last day we have together we end up going shopping. But hanging out is the priority.

3. Do become a scribe

Have someone write down or record old family stories. Write down questions for the eldest family members so that stories and memories aren’t lost. You’d be surprised how entranced even the youngest of children can be by family folklore.

4. Remember time for prayer

There are bound to be family tragedies from time to time, and often time set aside for this type of visit provoke healing discussion. Make sure that these kinds of conversations are always ended in prayer. Even family members who are not practicing a Christian lifestyle appreciate an offer for prayer when experiencing painful situations.

5. Keep it short

Less is generally better! A few days is more than enough! In this time, you will be able to determine who is in charge and who wishes they were in charge. If the visit is too long you are bound to see some hurt feelings and a tongue-lashing or two! If you hate to part from one another, you’ve mastered this arrangement.

Scripture reminds us that where two or more of us are gathered together in His name that He is right there in our midst (Matthew 18:20). Keeping Jesus at the center of every gathering reinvents a family reunion into a family revival and refreshing. God give us families so that we can enjoy fellowship and intimacy. Leaving a family legacy is both fulfilling and valuable.

About the author — Kim Sullivan

Kim Sullivan is a writer with a background in everything from homeschooling to nonprofit management. She has raised three children each of whom are successful in their own unique way. Recently, Kim has done the most radical and risky thing she has ever done…she moved 700 miles from her suburban Chicago home and everything familiar to her and relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is working on a brand-new website and blogs at Journey to Epiphany. She is also writing a book about her adventures in following Jesus.

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