Boston’s Spiritual Surge in 2009

by David Melton

I ‘ve enjoyed the vacation from politics. Remember how before election night every other TV commercial was a political ad? Then they just go away. Good riddance. But I still remember a few things. I remember way back in the primary season when people were still arguing about Iraq — when Wall Street still brought smiles instead of scowls. I remember politicians haggling over “the surge” and whether it was a good idea.

There’s not much debate on the surge these days. It really was just kind of logical. More boots on the ground made it possible for our troops to get their job done. Skeptics made all kinds of prognostications, but in the end, the surge was the right approach.

It is pretty easy to look at the state of our world and see that the spiritual battle is raging hot across this depraved planet. If you actually sit down and think about it, you can feel discouraged. I know that Jesus triumphs in the end, but sometimes that is hard to visualize when I watch current events. I think we need our surge — a spiritual surge. I am absolutely convinced that more boots on the ground will work for us too. We need more young people to invest their lives in the service of Christ, to fight His battle, to go — not with guns — but with the gospel, go to places that seem to be devolving into chaos, and let the light of the gospel do its work.

Way back last year when politicians argued about the surge, many people doubted, some in sincerity. But in our case, I don’t see how anybody can doubt. We’ve just got to send them out to join in true spiritual engagement.

So I called together the leadership at Boston Baptist College, and I challenged us to our own surge. When it seems like everybody is calling for cutbacks, and we all know that the economy is struggling… well, we’re going to throw the Book at our circumstances — the leather-bound One. We’re going forward in Boston. We’re running a tight budget, of course, but now is the time for more to train for ministry – not less.

So our surge strategy is to acknowledge that many of our best church families will have a harder time than ever financing Christian education. If moms and dads were counting on refinancing their homes for college money – that may not be an option in our age of $700 billion bailouts. The public funding is still there, but the problem is that more people are going after the same financial pie, and the pie is not growing.

So in Boston — our tuition is not surging. We’ve flat-lined tuition for next year. And furthermore, we’ve determined to make capital improvements happen within our budget — and we are earmarking all of our 2009 Annual Offering for scholarship money — every dollar. This year, it’s all for them. We’re going to set a record for fundraising for us, $200,000, and then we’re going to give it all away — to put more boots on the spiritual frontline. No retreat. Surge. Somebody asked me a few days ago if we can pull it off. What kind of question is that? In battle you do what you have to do to accomplish your mission. It doesn’t take a seminary degree to decipher the Great Commission. We have to get this done. So I’m not bashful to ask you to help. Ignore pundits or feelings of desperation that might suggest that this generation of young people won’t do the job. I believe in them. I’m not just like them. But I like their energy, and with their tech toys, I believe they will “e-vangelize” in their generation. If we train them well, they will carry their own just fine. Shoot, they may text-message the gospel to the ends of the earth — okay by me.

So here’s the deal. Help us. I can’t print this money; we have to raise it. Find something for Boston this year, too. Ask around. If you haven’t been to Boston, somebody you know has. We’re stoking the fires pretty good up here in New England. Help us raise scholarship funds that will keep the troops coming, even in a recession.

Know a young person who has a heart to serve God but needs financial help to train for the Lord’s work? Call us, 1-888-235-2014, and talk to Joe Sawyer at extension 218. He’s our Surge specialist. We’re recruiting every day. Politics ebbs and flows, it gets loud and then it quiets down for awhile. But not in our work. The battle is on, but in Boston we’re calling for an all-out surge. And I like how this one is going to turn out, too.