Articles

Forming Courageous Leaders

God placed us in this cultural moment. Let’s be equipped.

06/6/24

John Stonestreet

Jared Hayden

Almost 50 years ago, renowned Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn gave a famous commencement address at Harvard University. In it, he argued that Communism was not the only, nor even the primary, problem that should concern Americans. Rather, they should be concerned about the rapid moral decline evident in the West.  

In Solzhenitsyn’s diagnosis, the West had lost “civil courage” and had exchanged eternal truths for what he called “a relentless and superficial legalism.” The absence of “courage” played out in three tragic realities: the worship of unbridled freedom, the decadence of art and a corrosive pop culture, and the lack of great statesmen.  

This last point especially—the lack of courageous leaders worthy of respect—has only become more evident in the years since Solzhenitsyn delivered his speech. Think of the judges more loyal to political agendas than the law, political leaders embroiled in scandals and affairs, clergy from all sides of Christendom guilty of abusing those they are called to care for or removed from ministry for other moral failings. And more recently, those who’ve typically been the most trusted—doctors, counselors, educators—encouraging minors to hate and even mutilate their bodies to advance harmful ideologies. 

Solzhenitsyn was right. We are in desperate need of courageous leaders who are willing to pursue integrity and uphold truth even when it is unpopular and costly.  

This need informs the work of the Colson Center. What if Christians could be equipped and formed to become leaders for this cultural moment? Resources such as What Would You Say?, the Upstream and Strong Women podcasts, daily Breakpoint commentaries, and especially the Colson Fellows program, equip Christians to live out their faith publicly, not just privately. These offerings are not about the Colson Center producing more content. They are about Christians who have the clarity, confidence, and courage needed to live their faith wherever they have been called.  

Recently, Walnut Street Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas, became one Church Affiliate of the Colson Fellows program. Walnut Street Baptist’s pastor, Grey Falanga, has relied on the daily Breakpoint commentaries to help make sense of this fast-changing cultural moment, and he recently shared why they have now become a Colson Fellows Church Affiliate: 

To some extent [as a pastor], you’re supposed to be the expert in everything, but I’m certainly not an expert at much of anything. That’s why I’m so grateful for the Colson Fellows. They’re bringing in people who have thought critically through some of these tough issues and handed them to me in a way that is accessible at the level of everyday people. 

Colson Center resources are reaching more churches and more Christians because of generous ministry partners who know, as Chuck Colson often said, that the world needs the Church to be the Church. The tremendous growth and reach of these resources are only possible because of those who, like you, have been helped by the Colson Center and want to help us reach others. After all, we are in this cultural moment, not by our choice, but because God has placed us here. We have been invited into His life, His kingdom, His story. He asks nothing less of us than full participation.  

The Colson Center’s fiscal year concludes on June 30. Please consider making a gift to help us plan and to support the growth of Colson Center resources over the next year. To give, please visit colsoncenter.org/give 

This Breakpoint was co-authored by Jared Hayden. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to breakpoint.org. 

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