How to Inspire a Spirit of Servanthood in a Family

What’s up guys, Jeff and Jeremy here in another episode of Five Minute Fatherhood. We have a fun topic today and that is how to inspire a spirit of servanthood in a thriving family. And the antithesis to this is kind of how do you make sure that if you build a strong abundant family that your kids aren’t going to turn into spoiled kids. And that they’re not going to turn into just kind of leaching or taking or just kind of sucking the life out of the family and the legacy, but actually disciple and pass on the legacy of service and of that last name. So Jeremy, what would you say to that?

Yeah, guys, I think that oftentimes you think about building a strong family. A lot of times we try to almost … we accidentally use pride as a tool to create continuity with our team. Sometimes we use words like, “Hey, priors don’t do X or Y,” and some of that’s not bad. But one of the things you have to be really careful of is I really want to be careful that my kids aren’t becoming proud and spoiled about the strength that’s incurring into the family. This is a tricky little phenomenon. A lot of people have … they even think passing down any material blessings to the next generation is really more of a curse because you’re inevitably going to create a … the Paris Hilton phenomenon, right? Where it’s just like suddenly she’s just totally obsessed with herself and there’s this idea that the wealth just is for my own comfort.

A lot of that, you guys, has to do with the vision for any of the blessings you’re passing down. This is spiritual blessings, this is relational strength, and this is material blessings. Whatever you pass down, the vision you give or the vision that you’re encouraging with that inheritance, whatever you’re blessing your next generations with, their receiving that vision. And if the vision is, “Hey guys, this abundance of stability, this spiritual strength or this material blessing really exists for your comfort and for your individual happiness and satisfaction,” then you’re likely going to create a Paris Hilton. Or you might create a really proud and arrogant cocky family. Those are real risks and those are real traps. How do you really begin to push against that? I started thinking about this a couple of weeks ago when I overheard just somebody in a conversation say, “When you work to start your kids at third base, don’t let them think that they just hit a triple.”


I was like, “That’s a really good way of saying it.” If your kids are starting at third base and they think that they’d look down their noses at all the other kids and say, “I know what your problem is.” No, no, no, kids, you did not hit a triple. Our family has been working for generations to get you to third base. You’re welcome. You didn’t earn it.

But why are you at third base? Is it so that you can have this incredible life and look down your nose at everybody else? And it really is so that you can serve, right? So that you can be on mission. That’s why we really the importance of talking about mission.

So it’s important when you give your kids a leg up, you got to tell them the full story, how we got here so that doesn’t inspire pride. One family I wanted to point out that has done this really well, I’m always like on the hunt for families that are different, but there’s a family, the Shriver family. If you want to look up some of their legacy, this is a really fascinating family story. So Sarge Shriver was married to Eunice Kennedy. This is one of the daughters of Joseph Kennedy, one of JFK’s younger siblings. And so Sarge and Eunice had this crazy legacy as a family. So Sarge was instrumental in starting the Peace Corps. His wife, Eunice, founded the Special Olympics. Their son, Bobby, founded the whole RED Campaign or one with Bono. Anthony founded Best Buddies, which has helped millions of intellectually challenged adults get jobs. Another one of their sons took over the Special Olympics as CEO, Tim.

So just on and on and on, you look at this family, they were abundantly blessed financially. Sarge and Eunice created this culture in the family of radical service. So instead of a bunch of spoiled kids or proud kids, they really inspired their family team to become a radical servants. I just was blown away by the fact that hey, all of these blessings are a tool. And the question is how are you going to direct that tool?

Yeah, no, I love that. And what I was going to say too is, yeah. It’s true in all regards. Like you said, spiritual blessing, emotional blessing, relational blessing. But financial blessing too I think is just a really good picture because it’s easier to measure how that should be true in all regards. And yeah, it’s like whether, you take Paris Hilton for example, versus someone like the Rothschilds 200 years ago or you have the Waltons now or any type of family that’s just like it’s been … the financial blessing has been massively passed down generationally. And you can see like even like the Waltons, I’m not necessarily like Walmart is the best company at all. I don’t think that at all. But you’ve clearly seen that the second generation has taken the baton of the mission of the company.

When someone like Paris Hilton didn’t take on the baton of the mission of the company, she just took on the baton of consuming from dad’s vision of the company. And that’s very different, right? That there was not this passing of vision. So to actually kind of create, I think this legacy, we have to make sure that our mission and our vision is getting passed and kind of adopted. Me and Alyssa, I remember when we even went to Sonoma like last year and we toured this winery and I was just fascinated because it was a fifth-generation winery where it’s only been owned by one family and every single generation works in it, runs it, becomes the next CEO, et cetera. And you can just tell it’s because they get captured by the vision of what they feel like their story is to tell as a family. So that to me is … I just think it’s almost a misnomer is the wrong word. I think it doesn’t really matter how much … it doesn’t really matter.

You can have spoiled kids that have no money and you can have spoiled kids that have a lot of money. To me, I think that actually has … Money has no correlation in my opinion, with spoiled kids because I think that’s a heart level. I think that’s a, do they have a mission? Do they have a vision? How are they raised? What are they cultivated towards? Money can exacerbate it or maybe not give them enough opportunity. But to me, it’s not a correlation in regards to the source. And what that is, I think, is a spirit of consumption versus spirit of service, like you said. That is the biggest thing.

So dads, that’s what we leave you with today. Can you look at your family and say slowly but surely, because this is a long play, a hundred-year play, that you are cultivating a spirit of service in your family, in your kids? And it starts with us, guys. It starts with us, that we would be the people that would set a model of service for our kids.

Latest Episode

Listen To Our Latest Podcast



Start Building a
Multigenerational Family Team

Live events







Family scouting report