A friend recently asked for my opinion on the greatest challenge confronting American evangelicalism. He listened patiently as I offered a few thoughts. “There’s a deeper problem beneath those things,” he said. “It’s a crisis of leadership.”
The more I’ve considered the matter, the more I consider his words both true and ironic. An older generation of American evangelical leaders has passed away or passed the baton. When it comes to the younger generation, scarcely a week passes when we do not have another noteworthy Christian leader suffering a deeply destructive fall from grace. The ironic part is this: Evangelicals produce and consume countless books, seminars, and events on leadership. We have a thriving Christian leadership industry, yet we’re starving for Christlike leaders. Why is there so much leadership content and so little leadership character?
In our December issue I introduced the first of four strategic initiatives that will shape the future of Christianity Today. As I explained, CT Global will create a kind of central nervous system for the body of Christ, raising up storytellers and thought leaders around the world. The second initiative is simply called CT National. Billy Graham explained that he founded Christianity Today to be a clear voice, speaking with conviction and love. We are rededicating ourselves to that vision, to doing it better than ever.
As we move forward, we wish for Christianity Today to better represent the beautiful (and increasing) diversity of the American church. Men and women of evangelical conviction with a passionate love for Jesus Christ are found in churches of every ethnicity. They should see more of themselves and hear more of their voices in the pages of CT. We are also recommitting ourselves to deep reporting and storytelling here and overseas, so that American evangelical pastors and laypeople can be inspired to think more deeply and more broadly. Finally, we are recommitting ourselves to thought leadership. Sometimes Christianity Today has served as a pulpit, where the most insightful evangelical voices share their thoughts with the world. Sometimes it has served as a table, a place to discuss the vexing challenges we face as a community. We wish to serve both roles with excellence.
We believe Christianity Today is called both to be a leader and to serve leaders. Countless churches are foundering on the shoals of social, political, technological, and generational change. Despair and unbelief ride the tides. In the years to come, Christianity Today will reinvest in its aim to be a lighthouse, illuminating a path through the troubled waters for our brothers and sisters in the faith, and calling more of our friends and family home to the love of Jesus Christ.
Timothy Dalrymple is president and CEO of Christianity Today. Follow him on Twitter @TimDalrymple_.
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