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EthicsDaily 2018: Working with the Next Generation of Baptists

EthicsDaily is committed to working with partners seeking to engage and empower the next generation of Baptists.

If the moderate-to-progressive Baptist movement is to continue, the next generation needs to be given opportunities to shine its light.

Civil rights icon John Lewis wrote to the next generation of freedom fighters: “You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone – any person or any force – dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth and follow its dictates.”

Lewis and his fellow “Freedom Riders” brought passion and energy to the civil rights movement.

Guided by leaders Martin Luther King Jr., Julian Bond and Ralph Abernathy, the emerging generation of leaders vocalized their insights while marching on the front lines for civil rights.

In the Bible, we see examples of mentors rising to help empower the next generation.

Abraham taught Isaac, Moses trained Joshua, Eli mentored Samuel, and Naomi provided great insight for Ruth.

One of the great strengths of the Hebraic faith is its ability to provide training and opportunities for the next generation of Jews.

Jesus understood the importance of mentorship and empowering the next generation of his movement.

Gathering the 12 disciples, Jesus spent three years teaching them and giving them opportunities to practice their faith.

Even though most fled Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested, their experiences with Jesus inspired them to continue his movement after the resurrection.

EthicsDaily wants to work with partners to educate, engage and empower the next generation of Baptists.

We are so inspired by the excellent seminaries that train emerging Baptists pastors and leaders. Over the last year, we met with the leadership of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky and McAfee School of Theology to discuss possible collaborations.

As EthicsDaily traveled the world this past year, we also encountered countless professors who are shaping the next generation on a daily basis.

We are listening to them so we can provide better resources for their classrooms and students.

Also, we worked with the Diana Garland School of Social Work and George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University to co-host the premiere of the first short documentary in a series produced by EthicsDaily and Baptist Women in Ministry to highlight female senior pastors.

And sadly, we grieved along with the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond’s family when the announcement was made of the seminary’s closing.

More directly, EthicsDaily launched two new column series on our website. These series provide opportunities for the next generation of Baptists to compile and express their thoughts on the most critical issues of our day.

Emerging Voices” offers recent graduates, students pursuing a graduate degree or beginning their first call at a local church with an opportunity to write publicly about ethical and social justice issues.

U:21” provides a venue for high school and college students with a platform to express their ideas.

While some within the Christian community attempt to isolate younger Christians to youth and college groups, we are inviting these young writers to be part of the global conversation.

In 2018, 10 “Emerging Voices” and four “U:21” columns were published. We hope that local church ministers and university / seminary professors will encourage students to submit columns to EthicsDaily.com for publication in 2019.

We see this opportunity as central, not peripheral, to our commitment to working for the common good.

Finally, EthicsDaily was honored to be asked by Baptist News Global to participate in their “Conversations that Matter” gathering at Harvard University.

The event invited emerging leaders from across the country to Cambridge to provide a safe environment where critical and important conversations could take place.

It was an honor to serve as a mentor to this next generation of Baptist leaders who are open, honest and courageous with their colleagues.

John Lewis was correct: The next generation is “the light” we need to move forward.

The only way EthicsDaily can continue to educate, engage and empower the next generation of Baptists is through the financial support of our readers, viewers and supporters.

If you want to read and watch the next generation emerge as competent and exciting leaders from around the world, we invite you to invest in the future work of EthicsDaily and our collaborative efforts.

No donation is too small; we appreciate and value every dollar given to the cause of supporting biblical ethics and advocating for social justice around the world.

Editor’s note: Secure, online donations can be made here. Donations by check can be mailed to P.O. Box 150506, Nashville, TN 37215-0506.

See also:

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners Toward Gender Equality

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners to Strengthen Interfaith Relationships

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners Addressing Racial Justice

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Global Partners

EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners Advocating for Public Education

Mitch Randall

Mitch Randall is executive director of EthicsDaily.com.