Q Union, a series of talks by both national and student speakers, focused on what it means and how to create a better future. National speakers talked on topics ranging from mental health, going small rather than big, and how we are built to trust people. The overarching question: what can we learn from yesterday and today to improve our tomorrow?
Jensen – “Character over Charisma”
“Value character over charisma. Prefer posture over position. Prefer people over pulpit.” In a culture telling us to perform and entertain, we need to choose intentionality and authenticity. “When we put charisma first, we miss the point.” Charisma is not evil or even bad; the problem lies in “valuing, emphasizing, and promoting” charisma in the church over character. “The church does not exist as a place for charismatic, self-proclamation and ambition. But the church as a space where we might come together and encounter the reconciliation of God that leads us to a life of Christ like character.”
Desiree – “Sincerely, Your Black Peer”
“Was SEU built with the intention that black students would attend?”
“In order to create a future for SEU we have to ask ourselves these hard questions. We have to know our past. We have to pay attention to the patterns of our campus.”
Southeastern, an AG Bible college, was founded during the height of the Jim Crow Laws; laws designed to “maintain racial segregation”, in an area ranked third in Florida for lynching. The AG denomination was “birthed from racism” when multiple white pastors separated from a fully integrated pentecostal denomination to start their own segregated church: The Assemblies of God. The patterns continue today on campus when we cheer for football players, but avoid the guys under the helmets because we deem them threatening. The inability for black students to create a black student union because it is seen as a threat. Or “paying thousands of dollars to minister to black and brown people on the other side of the world but black and brown people on our own campus don’t feel the same love.”
“Do not take this as a threat, but as an invitation.”
“So now knowing the history of your university, knowing the patterns of your university, what will you do individually to create a better future for southeastern?”
Trey – “Jesus is King”
The dragon in the room is our western church presenting a gospel “more concerned with getting some people on this planet to heaven than bringing heaven to this planet. A gospel that is more concerned with getting there than renewing here.”
Three truths about the gospel:
“The gospel is relevant and addresses the physical needs of others … The good news for the hungry is bread.”
“The gospel is political.” Christians should find that both progressives and conservatives have parts that represent them, but neither party represents them perfectly. Our political standings and everything we do should be for the good of ALL people.
“The good news is for all people, even if they reject christianity.”
“As Christians, we are called to restoration and renewal.”