By Norm Miller, Louisiana College Communications
PINEVILLE — Rick Brewer, president of Louisiana College, keynoted the June 26 afternoon session of the Bi-vocational and Small Church Leadership Network National Celebration, held June 26-27 on LC’s campus.
Prior to his remarks, Brewer invited the Blackwell Trio — who had opened the meeting — to join him around the piano in an impromptu mini-songfest.
“I want to share with you a few words of challenge and commitment,” Brewer later said, referring to Micah 6:8 as “a summary statement for those of us as Christ followers.”
Brewer quoted the verse: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
“If we could just simply do those things daily, what an impact we would have on the world around us,” Brewer said.
“To act justly. You know what that means: do the right thing … be men and women of integrity … be a peacemaker. Do the things that bring about healing.”
Loving mercy means to be merciful, “to extend acts of kindness, random acts of kindness” and practice the “Golden Rule — to treat people even better than you would expect to be treated — to leave places better than you found them,” he said.
Brewer said he reminds students that no matter what believers do in service to others, “we extend the hand of love, Christ’s love” and are “taking with us the very presence of Christ in that purpose.”
Walking humbly with God includes having “a heart full of God,” he said, “and to pursue God passionately in all that you do.”
Such humble passion means “there is no room for anti-intellectualism” in Christian higher education because believers are called to “love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.”
“There is no room for lazy-minded thinking,” he said. “We must be earning the right to be heard.” This requires the “right balance of scholarship and devotion.”
It also requires that Christian higher education be “relevant, relational and rigorous. Why? Because, we want our students to be able to compete in any marketplace in the world, and go to those places God is leading them and take the message everywhere. … Wherever God is planting them, they are to be on mission with God in those places,” Brewer said. “And in that place, be a man or woman of influence.”
Brewer challenged the audience to live according to Micah 6:8, and to be sure that one’s personal passion is in line with God’s purpose.
Whenever Christians will submit to God’s call on their lives, Brewer said that God “will do amazing things in your life. He will make you flourish in ways you never imagined.”
Citing Abraham Kuyper’s “Seven Cultural Mountains,” and noting that Kuyper said a small percentage were at the top of these, Brewer said: “I am just foolish enough to believe that we can raise up a generation of young men and women who can gain the skills and the gifting and the academic credentials” who will ascend the cultural mountains as influencers. “We need that.”
Louisiana College is “taking on this tremendous, gargantuan task to raise up a generation who will take on this challenge,” he said.
“It will not be easy. It will not be easy,” he said. “The culture will fight against us.”
Noting the Old Testament figures of Joseph and Daniel, Brewer said God put them in positions of influence in godless cultures because they had convictions and integrity. And God did it to change those cultures.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood against the culture, saying, “Our God is able to save us from that fiery furnace … but even if he doesn’t, we’re not going to bow,” Brewer recounted.
Today’s culture needs believers of conviction like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Brewer said, challenging the audience to be men and women of integrity and conviction as they mentor others to live the same way.
And no matter what happens, “We have read the back of the book and we know who wins,” Brewer said. “That’s the side I want to be on, don’t you?”