A Generation of Magnitude
So much of what we do at LEAD is steeped in the notion of true identity—the idea that we are not our own, but rather that each one of us has been uniquely created for a specific purpose by God himself. At the heart of our ministry is a passion for helping young men and women discover their highest calling as Christ’s Ambassadors. We use the words “Christ’s Ambassador” an awful lot around here, but when you have the privilege of seeing that calling lived out, it is difficult not to wonder at the sheer magnitude of what a generation dedicated to the Lord can do.
This autumn, I have had the great joy of seeing many SSI alumni actively participating at some amazing events. In September, I was able to attend Protect Life Michigan’s Ignite & Equip Conference. The spirit at this conference was nothing short of amazing! Protect Life Michigan works to empower students on high school and college campuses across the state with resources including pro-life apologetics, alternative tools for mothers in crisis pregnancies, ways to be involved in grassroots activism, and so much more. And did I mention that the organization is run by an SSI alumna, Christen Pollo? Ignite and Equip was an incredible time of being challenged to do more to defend the unborn and learning new, practical ways to use tools we often take for granted. Students were challenged to choose courage over complacency because silence is deadly. Answers to the problems we face today need to show love in action, emphasize humanity over brutality, and must be faithfully communicated in a manner consistent with Colossians 4:5-6. This verse implores us to “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” The teaching was truly excellent, and many of the speakers were themselves students actively leading the charge against the great injustice of abortion. There is a new generation rising up to take on the fight against evil. Seeing students employ the skills learned during LEAD for a cause that they are passionate about was nothing short of amazing. I left humbled, sobered, and yet so tremendously encouraged.
Fast forward to this past weekend, when I had the privilege of representing SSI for part of the Magnify Conference. Magnify is an event put on by several churches around our state capitol who are simply passionate about exalting the name of our Lord in a way that is faithful to the Word and relevant to the culture. A weekend at Magnify means that one has given up a Friday night and an entire Saturday to take in some serious theology, deep doctrine, and compelling Bible study. Joe Cecil (who also attended) and I were both delighted to see so many LEAD students dedicated to growing in their understanding of the Word and being intentional about learning to relate Biblical truth to cultural questions about identity, marriage, and gender issues. So often today, believers are told that anything less that heartily embracing the alternate lifestyles of the world is hateful, judgmental, and narrow minded. Nevertheless, God’s Word has not changed, and it speaks a powerful truth to the broken insecurity and confusion of modern culture. Attendees were reminded that answers to cultural questions starts with understanding who we were created to be. “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” This belonging that we find in the words of Psalm 100:3 only comes when we embrace who God created us to be. The most loving thing we can do as believers is to live uncompromisingly as those who belong to our good Shepherd, because the beautiful truth is that we do belong to Him. As His Ambassadors, we have been given a precious ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21), and in faithfully living out and sharing His Word, we are able to bring hope the lost and hurting. Living this way isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen by accident. However, the students who attend this conference set a vibrant example of what it means to be intentionally obedient to the Lord. It was incredibly uplifting to reconnect with them and see their dedication to living out the fullness of who Christ has called them to be.
To all our LEAD alumni, keep living out the challenge of 1Timothy 4:12. Shine bright as an example to all believers in your speech, conduct, love, and purity. Hold fast to the truth of who you are and whose you are. The magnitude of what you can accomplish, the evils you can defeat, the healing you can bring—they are more than you can fathom when you walk in the fullness of who Christ has made you.
Katie Schmidt is the Director of Communications at SSI. She is fascinated by how biblical presuppositions inform history, philosophy, and critical advocacy and enjoys engaging with her community and church, learning news things, and dabbling in creative pursuits.
Disclaimer: The views presented in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the position of the Student Statesmanship Institute. SSI is a non-profit educational organization and provides this blog as a platform for those who have been involved in our program to engage and share thoughts related to current events, issues of the day, and personal experiences, but does not necessarily endorse the content therein.