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Reccord challenges students to lead society back to God

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–The best hope for society lies in a revival of its churches through the youngest generation of Christian leaders, North American Mission Board President Bob Reccord challenged a group of student leaders.
“The problem is, the church has not been what it’s supposed to have been. And the only way the church is going to be what it should be is for you guys to step up and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to turn this ship around.'”
Reccord was one of the principle instructors for Student Leadership University 101, the first course in a program aimed at empowering and equipping future Christian leaders founded by evangelist Jay Strack. The July 13-17 conference in Orlando was one of five SLU-101 sessions being offered this summer. More advanced leadership training, through SLU-201 and SLU-301, is being offered for students in Washington and in Israel.
The “bottom-line” question for leaders today should be, “Are you going to take God at his word or not?” Reccord said. “If God says it, are you going to believe it and act on it?”
The Southern Baptist leader challenged the students to emulate the leadership qualities of Joshua and Caleb, who rose above the “grasshopper thinking” of other spies who saw the task of conquering Canaan impossible (Numbers 13-14). Joshua and Caleb, meanwhile, took God at his word that they would be victorious — and they eventually led the successful assault on Jericho 40 years later.
He noted three keys to their leadership:
— They are focused. In a race, he said, you don’t focus on yourself, the crowd or other runners. You focus on the finish line. “That’s the key thing the adversary is going to try to do in your life. He’s going to try to get you focused on everything and everybody besides where you need to be focused.”
— They are faithful. “The 10 spies who said, ‘We can’t do it’ never once mentioned God,” Reccord said. “But Joshua and Caleb focused their report on God. You and I see either one of two things. We either see the obstacles or the opportunities.”
— They were finishers. “The winners in life are the ones who not only begin the race well, but they finish it well.”
Reccord also listed four essential traits of leaders who are “built on the right stuff.”
— Individuality. “We all have this tendency to want to be the same,” he said. “The only shoes you need to fill are the ones God gave you,” he said. “And you ought to be glad he gave you the shoes he wants to fill. … Celebrate what God wants you to do. … There is nobody in the world like you.”
— Interdependency. Successful leaders do not do it alone. “Even in the Christian life there tends to be competition,” Reccord said. “What happens is we run against each other too many times. … Leadership is about saying, ‘How do we all win together?’ If you help others win, they will follow you with everything they’ve got.”
— Intensity. Reccord shared how he was once told high school football tryouts would be easy, only to be knocked virtually unconscious by a huge fullback. Leadership is the same way, he said. “It’s tough. You’ve got to have intensity, and you’ve got to be willing to stand there even when it hurts.”
— Intimacy. In Joshua 1:8, Reccord said, God told Joshua to meditate on his Word day and night and practice everything it says. “Then he said, as you do this, you’ll have success. The strong Christians leader is going to be intimate with God.”
NAMB involvement with SLU will increase next summer with SLU-101 sessions specifically targeted for future pastors/missionaries and another for leaders in First Priority Christian clubs on school campuses.

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  • James Dotson