Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3: 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (NIV).
We are in a time or turmoil and God is neither surprised nor distraught by this. When our ancestors chose to eat the pomegranate in the garden, we set ourselves on this path. As Jesus-followers, we are citizens of a different kingdom yet still living in a rebellious world. Turmoil provides us an opportunity to speak out against the evil that formerly enslaved us and call others to freedom. Turmoil convicts of our own continued collusion with evil. Turmoil shocks us into desperate dependence upon God.
Turmoil provides us an opportunity to not just speak out, but also be different and do different.
There is so much talk right now. Talk is good if we don’t allow it to fade away without our commitment to real transformation. It is time for black voices to speak out their pain and anger. It is a time to protest evil. The raw emotions of this time open all of us to better experience God’s pain and anger over racism through them. These prophetic voices are priceless windows into the reality of our world and the love of
God for all of us. Protest can be without undue violence, but it must disrupt. We should be in no hurry to shorten this disruption.
There is endless speculation about the continue pandemic right now. The doctors, scientists, and economists just don’t know so many things. To fill the gap left by our confusion there are endless voices of opinion. More talk to fill the space but it doesn’t resolve the confusion. People we love are dying, sick, afraid, and unemployed. Our words of comfort too often seem shallow.
Sometimes the best way to find true rest is to lean into pain so that it shakes us, and to embrace confusion so that it leaves us totally empty. In that place we will always find God. And from that place of rest we will find energy and power to move forward in a long, steady, stubborn path to create change in real ways.
In 2004 when BGU decided to be university and not a seminary, it was because God called us to be a community of action, not just reflection and talk. From the university platform, BGU has trained over 50,000 in non-degreed certificate programs led and coached by front-line leaders. We help pastors move past the Sunday morning sermon to equip people to be the church in their communities and
workplaces. We train urban, business and government leaders to be agents of transformation through the organizations they lead, not just through their speeches and books. We’ve learned that for real change to occur, we must build toward that change with expert and peer coaches and mentors, with strategies, with sustained encouragement in relational communities. BGU courses and certificate
programs include coaching, community and action steps that lead to real change.
BGU’s programs are open to students as well as non-students who want a non-degreed experience for their continued leadership development. Most are eight weeks long in a community that meets online weekly to allow sustained, focused time to not just hear good ideas, but actually implement them for lasting change. Most certificates courses have discounts for added members from the same team.
Starting July 6:
Transformational Strategies for the Ice Age: If you want a guided experience to prepare your organization for navigating the continued confusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, this online experience that will expand your perspective and provide a steady framework to apply what you’ve learned. More info
Fundraising: A role so needed to implement real change but too many leaders struggle to do it well. This course will be a guided experience to create a whole new perspective on fundraising, lasting capacity and on-going community of peers to keep you encouraged for the long term. If you have any questions about this course, please email email@example.com
Starting in September:
Philadelphia Urban Immersion: This course will put you on the ground with leaders who are creating real change in addressing the systematic evils of racism and poverty. It is for leaders who want to continue to protest these evils in both word and deed in their own cities. More info
You can register for any of these courses or certificate courses by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This is time of turmoil. For those of us whose hope is in God, it is also a time for renewed energy and motivation to be leaders of transformation as God precedes us.
Dr. Brad Smith