See You at the Wilberforce Weekend
I’ve got four good reasons for you to consider attending the Wilberforce Weekend. And they all begin with the letter “c.” Too many of us who follow Christ and claim that He is Lord over all, still tend to divide the world into the sacred and the secular. I remember my friend Scott Rae from Biola University telling a story about being at a church one Sunday before Vacation Bible School. The pastor announced, “We want all the VBS volunteers and teachers to come up, and we’re going to pray for them as they minister to these kids.” Coming down from the stage, one of the ladies, a 25-year veteran at a local public school said, “I’ve been teaching in public schools for 25 years and no one has ever prayed for me.” I understand that. Many of us grew up in an altar-call world, where we would be invited at the end of a service to respond to three questions: Do you want trust Christ? Do you want to re-dedicate your life to Christ? Do you want to commit your life to full-time Christian service? Now those are three important questions! But what was typically meant by “full-time Christian service” was being a pastor or being a missionary. Praise God that more and more Christians are awakening to the reality of the lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life—and to the idea that being a Christian in ministry is the job of every Christian. As Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 the job of evangelists and pastors and teachers is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. In other words, ministry doesn’t happen in the church; equipping does, so that ministry can happen outside the church. That’s the idea of calling, the first of four “c” words that we’ll be talking about at this year’s Wilberforce Weekend, May 18-20, in Washington, D.C. Isn’t it interesting how many corporations these days are using that word “calling” to encourage people to find meaning in their work? The problem is, “calling” doesn’t make sense unless there is a ‘caller.’ That’s where the entire Christian worldview begins: humans are created beings; not autonomous and not self-defined. To be created is to purposed. To be called. Our calling as humans goes beyond just our work or our family or missions. It goes to the very core of what it means to be human. And we live in a culture whose central confusion lies precisely in that question—what does it mean to be human. And so, this year’s Wilberforce Weekend is dedicated to exploring what God has created, and called, all of us as humans to do. First, we are called to create—that’s the second “c” word. God is the Creator. To be his image bearer is to be creators also. Christians should celebrate, encourage, and explore creativity as an essential part of what it means to be human under the lordship of Christ. We may not all be artists, but we are all creators—of beauty, of business, of opportunities, of relationships, and so on. Now, our calling and creativity must be lived in a context—in particular this cultural moment. And so, it is also true that God calls us to confront. That’s our third “c” word for the Wilberforce Weekend. In a fallen world, we’ll need to have the moral clarity and the courage to confront both evil realities and bad ideas. At the Wilberforce Weekend we’ll talk about what it means to confront in even hostile environments, and how to make the case for Truth. And our fourth “c” word. God created and called us to care. We must care for the culture around us, and commit ourselves to its restoration. We must care for the victims of bad ideas. We must care for the most vulnerable among us. To help us think about these callings of God on our lives, the Wilberforce Weekend will feature some who are creating, some who are confronting, and some who are caring in amazing ways. Join Eric Metaxas, Joni Eareckson Tada, musician and author Andrew Peterson, and even—get this—someone who is living out his calling to care through genetics. They’ll all be at this year’s Wilberforce Weekend May 18-20. I hope you will be as well. Come to WilberforceWeekend.org to register.