From the President: Equipping the Next Generation of Christian Leaders

WANTED: The Next Generation of Christian Leaders

Volume 7 | Issue 1 | Spring 2011

Dr Faust

Dr. David Faust

From the President: Equipping the Next Generation of Christian Leaders

Our job isn’t to mock the darkness, but to turn on the light.

How do you view the great population centers of our world? Do you think of the three “Cs”—crowds, crime, and corruption? Or the three “Ts”—traffic, trash, and terrorism?

It’s tempting to respond to crowds with irritation and cynicism, but the Bible says of Jesus, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). To Jesus, the crowds sparked compassion, not disgust. He saw past their outward appearance and perceived the deepest needs of their hearts. They were harassed and helpless, downcast and discouraged. They were like sheep that need a shepherd—hungry, thirsty, and vulnerable.

Broken lives break the heart of God. It’s unacceptable when human beings designed for fellowship live in isolation and despair, separated from the God who loves them. It’s unacceptable to stand by and do nothing while families disintegrate and communities deteriorate. It’s unacceptable to amass material possessions and keep God’s grace to ourselves while ignoring those who have no hope.

Jesus didn’t mock the darkness; he turned on the light. He did more than complain about society’s wrongs; he plunged in and set things right. He prayed, taught, listened, and healed. He asked pointed questions, corrected errors, and forgave sins. He dined in the homes of notable sinners, traveled into dangerous neighborhoods others avoided, touched the untouchable, and interacted vigorously with crowds in the public square. He told the truth in every situation. He challenged empty religious customs and confronted powerful leaders. He took the time to talk with a Samaritan woman by the well at mid-day, a Pharisee named Nicodemus who came to him at night, and a sinful woman who crashed a socialite’s dinner party and cried till her tears poured down on Jesus’ feet. He sacrificed his own comforts to help the weak and the overlooked. And while all of this was happening, he mentored a committed group of disciples to carry on the work.

The intentional mentoring of servant-leaders remains a vital strategy today. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37, 38). Later, the same people Jesus told to “ask,” he told to “go.” “These twelve Jesus sent out” (Matthew 10:5).

Harvest workers—difference makers—must be recruited, mentored, equipped, and sent. The Great Commission is the Lord’s Strategic Plan. We cannot allow it to become our Great Omission.

That’s why at CCU we continue to equip the next generation to serve the church and shape the world for Christ. As we recruit, teach, and encourage our students, we are carrying out the instructions the apostle Paul gave to the young leader Timothy: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Inspirational speaker Christine Caine says she went to Walmart and bought a Barbie flashlight for her four-year-old daughter. Eager to try out her new flashlight but unable to do so in the bright light of the store, the little girl asked, “Mommy, can we go and find some darkness?” That’s the job of the church, Caine says: “Find the darkness and shine the light.”

But be careful. When you pray for God to send out workers, he might send your children and grandchildren, or your best friend.

He might even send you.

Dr. David Faust