by Guy Rodgers, President and CEO
This year’s National Conference theme is “Living the Fullness of Christ-Centered Leadership in Turbulent Times.”
One reason I selected this theme is that I’m concerned we may be growing numb to the increasing chaos in our culture. That we’re getting used to, perhaps even comfortable with, realities we would have deemed unthinkable three decades ago.
- Realities such as 43% of children living in homes without fathers. This is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions.
- Or the average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography is eight (thanks to the flood of internet porn). This theft of innocence is child abuse.
- Or that half of all college professors surveyed admitted they viewed evangelical students unfavorably. Or that the USDA ordered the Christian owners of a meatpacking company to remove religious materials from the employee break room. This is anti-Christian bigotry on a scale never witnessed in America.
A few days ago Todd Starnes wrote a column for Fox News about a college student who was told by his professor to leave the lecture hall because he was reading his Bible – six minutes before class started.
Stories like these are becoming so commonplace they rarely shock us anymore, which is perhaps the most dangerous legacy of our times. As the Pink Floyd song lamented, are we growing “comfortably numb?”
From the coarsening sexualization of our culture (I remember when the words “oral sex” would never have made their way into the pages of a newspaper) to the redefinition of marriage to mean anything and everything (and thus nothing)…
…from Christianity holding an honored place in society to being excoriated as the religion of hate, oppression and bigotry…
…from respect for freedom of speech to sanctioned censorship of unpopular speech…
…we are caught in the vortex of a downward cultural spiral that can only be reversed by a fresh move of God in revival and reformation that will be delivered through a faithful remnant of His devoted disciples.
The sons of Issachar “understood the times,” and thus knew what they needed to do (see I Chron. 12:32). They neither minimized the challenges nor despaired that the challenges were too great for those who walk with God.
The lesson for us is that we cannot, we must not, become accustomed to or desensitized to the chaos of our times, while simultaneously trusting that God delights in showing Himself mighty in times just like ours.
The downward spiral of our culture needs full-throated, fully-orbed, robustly confident Christ-centered servant leadership — your leadership and mine – even if it doesn’t recognize that it does, even if it opposes who we are and what we have to offer.
This is why our calling is to more than living as Christ-centered leaders, but living out of the fullness of what that leadership means.