Raising Up Leaders

When I graduated college, I had a sense that I wanted to enter vocational ministry, but I had little direction with regard to where or in what role. Shortly before graduation, my college pastor bought me lunch and asked me to stay at Grace Bible Church for a year or two as an intern with the college ministry.

For the next two years I had unbelievable opportunities to serve, teach, lead, and learn. By the time I finished my internship I had a much clearer sense of the Lord’s calling on my life and what the next steps were in pursuing that calling.

Since I finished my internship, the program has expanded to include eight to ten people each year, all of whom are interested in vocational ministry. Over the past 13 years we have had the privilege of seeing about forty young men and women enter vocational ministry in some capacity. Some are pastors, others are missionaries, one is a Bible college professor, and many are pursuing seminary training.

Leading our internship program is one of the greatest joys of my job here at Grace. It is where much of the greatest potential for impact occurs in this ministry.

In order to fund the internship program, each intern raises support for his or her salary. In addition, the church raises support to cover other expenses related to the internship.

If you are interested in partnering with us to raise up these leaders, please contact me at mattmorton@grace-bible.org . You can also give on the Grace website at http//www.grace-bible.org/Giving.aspx .

Would you be willing to consider such a partnership for the sake of raising up leaders to bring the message of Christ around the world?

True Community in a Virtual World

When I began college, email was a relatively new concept. I actually remember sitting down and writing letters to friends with pen and paper! My personal computer had no access to the internet, so sending and receiving email required waiting in a long line at the computer lab.

By the time I graduated college, we used email for nearly every correspondence! I stopped writing letters on paper, and my emails became shorter and shorter because of the number I was required to read and answer.

Now people do not even read their email anymore! Texting and Twitter are quickly replacing email as the preferred mode of communication. Why use a whole paragraph when you can say everything in 140 characters or less?

For that matter, why have dinner with old friends when I catch up with everybody on Facebook (or MySpace or LinkedIn or Classmates….or….or….?)

So here’s my question for readers of this blog: How does all this technological efficiency affect the process of discipleship?

Clearly, the Christian walk requires community with one another (Hebrews 10:23-25). How can we have true community in a world that values quick exchanges of information and “virtual” friendships over real ones?

On the whole, do you feel like technological advances in communication (texting, Twitter, Facebook, email) are GOOD for Christian community or HARMFUL? Why? What will be the legacy of so much virtual community?

Do you think true depth of relationship and community can be accomplished in today’s cultural climate? If so, how?

I would be very curious to hear your thoughts, especially if you are a college student.

Blessings,
Matt Morton
College Pastor