Navigating Newfound Authority
During the last 50 years, neo-evangelicals have sought to break free from fundamentalist isolation and to give Christian orthodoxy a stronger voice than theological liberalism. They have gone far in achieving these goals, while also leaving the scars of the scorched earth strategy of the culture wars. A new generation of evangelicals will require the hand of God’s blessing to demonstrate the great wisdom, strength and grace that will needed to navigate current challenges and to be prepared to address the issues and crises that few of us can foresee or imagine. There are at least ten major challenges for young leaders; the first is identify these leaders.
We already know that there are many bright young leaders who can critique the church and analyze the actions of those who have preceded them. But can they lead? Will they be equipped to face fresh challenges?
Christian leaders for these times will need to be multi-dimensional and authentic; today there are few secrets and an alarming taste for exploitation of weaknesses. Leaders will need to be doctrinally sound, culturally relevant, publicly engaged, relationally winsome, attractively articulate, and morally consistent.
What young Christians may have what it takes to lead the church during the next generation and to be the face of American Christianity in the days ahead. I’m compiling a list of such potential leaders?
Here are three dozen on my list of candidates (with a hat tip to Brad Lomenick at Catalyst who has been thinking about these things). I’d like to hear for you: who do you think has the qualities and gifts to lead into the heart of the 21st century? Please let me know.
- Jonathan Acuff, writer/blogger/consultant, creator of the Stuff Christians Like blog.
- Ben Arment,innovative author, trainer, church planter, creator of Story and the White Board Sessions.
- Leroy Barber, founder of Mission Year and author of New Neighbor, pastors in innercity Atlanta and guides young Christians into cross cultureal ministry in American cities.
- Mark Batterson author and pastor of National Community Church, which meets in theaters and coffee shops throughout the Washington, D.C. area.
- Francis Chan, popular speaker and author of Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God.
- Eugene Cho. pastor in Seattle of Quest Church. Also soon to launch a new organization focused on global poverty.
- Ryan Dobson, edgy son on Christian radio’s most famous name; founded Kor Ministries and now co-hosting new radio program with his Dad.
- Mark Driscoll, author and pastor of Mars Hill church in Seattle and leader of The Resurgence.
- Joshua Dubois, executive director of the White House office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.