January 19, 2018 – The spring 2018 semester has taken Bryan College by storm – or perhaps by flurry with the spattering of snow to hit East Tennessee this month. Students have returned to campus and class amid miniature snowmen and chilly winds. Everywhere there is the fresh energy and promise of a new year.
The semester officially began on January 10, although many student leaders and athletes arrived the week prior. To kick off the new year, the Engage Conference encouraged students to consider the role of the church in today’s increasingly post-Christian society. These sessions were hosted by keynote speaker Greg Darley.
Darley serves as a mobilization and generosity consultant with Generis, helping non-profits, schools, and churches fully fund their kingdom visions. He has authored multiple books, including Wasted Prayer. Darley is also IJM’s former director of college mobilization, the founder of Backstage Leadership, the executive director of World Causes, and a founding member of The Good Society.
During his talks Darley spoke about how “in a post-Christian society, our job is still the same” and encouraged students to deeply and practically consider their role in influencing culture for Christ. The method he proposed was not for listeners to view uncertain futures through “me-centered” lenses, but rather through the lens of asking God what He is currently doing in the world and how one can help further those causes: preaching the Gospel, compassion, justice, love, charity, generosity, and so on.
He said, “The journey God takes people on starts with invitation, and before they get to activation, in the center there’s a season of preparation.” In this current world of “hacks” and “shortcuts,” Darley pointed out, the idea of the hard (sometimes grueling) work of preparation is not a popular one – but vital to future success: “My encouragement is to start now!”