Partners for Investing in the Younger Generation,                                                                 May 2015

On May 1 I attended my first funeral for a youth ministry contemporary of mine--Val Robinson. Since my first wife, Carol, died in 1998 I have not written Reach Out's newsletter in memory of anyone. But I am doing so now to honor my good friend, Val, but also to highlight the significant influence of a life invested in young people. 

 Val Robinson lived a profound life!      


To know Jesus is to live a profound life! And Val's life was profound because he had died to himself and his life was hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). Jesus reflected Himself through Val consistently. At his Memorial Service everyone could have said what I said in one way or another about his profound life. That's because Val--and Janette--have lived as vivid expressions of Jesus.  


Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. -- Proverbs 3:3-4


And all of their seven children live like their parents!  Years ago, after their last child was born, Val said to me, "I just realized we are going to have teenagers for 23 straight years."  He and Janette home-schooled all of them for all of those 23 years.  At the service his children spoke, honoring their Dad with humorous and serious stories. As adults now, all of them love Jesus, all married spouses who love Jesus, and all ten grandchildren are being raised to love Jesus.  That is a profound life.     


The children of your servants will live in your presence;
their descendants will be established before you. -- Psalm 102:28

Val Robinson lived a stunningly normal life with multiplied influence!

Some people live numbingly normal lives while others live stunningly normal lives.  Val's life was stunningly normal because of his multiplied influence.  From my long list of examples I hope these three motivate you to invest your life in the younger generation like Val did. 


Randy Riggins grew up in Houston, TX in a difficult home environment. He went to church to get away from home. There he met Jesus. His youth pastor at First Baptist Houston, Johnny Derouen, took Randy under his wing, discipled him, inspired him to pursue ministry, and significantly influenced his life. Randy, who became a youth pastor, has worked with Reach Out for the last 20 years and influenced thousands of youth leaders and kids. And over the years Johnny has influenced thousands of others like Randy as a youth pastor and professor of Youth Ministry at Southwestern Seminary. Circa 1975-1978, Johnny, 16, joined a high school discipleship group led by Val Robinson. Later Val trained Johnny to help lead the ministry.  Click here to read more about the long term investment of these relationships. 


Foley Beach serves as the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of North America. He was a college student when Val and I met him. Val, the youth pastor at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist in Atlanta, and I were figuring out how to train volunteer youth leaders. Foley joined Val's first Leadership Team. Later Foley became a youth pastor, growing the ministry to 1,000 kids. Later he became a pastor. At Foley's Archbishop Investiture service, attended by people from all over the world, his message had Val Robinson's 2 Timothy 2:2 ministry philosophy all over it. Recently Foley told me how significantly Val influenced his life and ministry.

The St. Clair family has had Val and Janette as our good friends since 1972. For 40+ years they have prayed for us-- every Thursday. Their prayers, friendship and love have sustained us through the years.

The influence of Val Robinson is impossible to measure! That's because he lived a profound Jesus life and quietly multiplied his Jesus influence.  


Thank you, Val Robinson. And thanks to you, too. From Val's life you can tell that your prayers for Reach Out count, and your gifts count, too. Through you we can work with youth leaders like him to continue to influence the younger generation to follow Jesus. Thank you.   


Jesus is Lord,  


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