In the last years of his life, Chuck Colson dedicated himself to the vision of starting a movement to renew the church so that it transforms and revitalizes culture. The Church has always done its best work when society has been at its worst. Such was the case in the 1700s in England when John and Charles Wesley along with George Whitfield, led the country in repentance and prayer and the Great Awakening began. On the heels of this, Chuck’s hero William Wilberforce joined forces with a group of committed believers who formed the Clapham Sect and set out to abolish the slave trade and “reform manners” — renew the culture in England. This led to the Victorian era — one of the greatest times in English history. Such was Chuck’s dream for our own society.
What can you do? People often feel that they are insignificant and powerless and can’t do anything to affect the problems in society. Chuck always took issue with this saying, “The best way to change culture is over the backyard fence and at the BBQ grill.” Politics doesn’t shape culture — it’s the other way around and it’s up to all of us to be restorers of our culture. If the Church doesn’t do it, who will? Not the government, not the media, no the academic elite.
THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH
The last meeting Chuck attended was the kickoff meeting of the Christian Worldview Coalition. He had convened ministry leaders from all across the country — people with a deep passion for renewing and redeeming our culture. He called for a sense of unity just as Jesus did in John 17:11: “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me that they may be one, even as we are one.” We need to work together if we are to accomplish a revival in our country.
If you would like to honor Chuck by joining the Movement, here are some practical next steps. We have links to resources for each of these in the section that follows.
- Pray! Movements cannot be engineered. They happen when people repent and pray that God would bless their efforts and create a Movement of God’s people. If you would like to join others in prayer for revival and be informed on what issues you can pray about, visit some of the coalition partner’s websites shown below.
- Sign the Manhattan Declaration (http://manhattandeclaration.org/home.aspx). Chuck along with Professors Robert George and Timothy George authored the declaration in 2009 and over 500,000 people have signed it. Respect for the sanctity of life, marriage, and religious freedom are the foundation for everything else we as Christians should advocate. As the closing line says “We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's.”
- Get educated on Christian Worldview and educate your children and grandchildren (Deuteronomy 6:7). There are great resources at the Colson Center as well as through many of our ministry partners. 1 Peter 3:15 admonishes us to always be prepared to “to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” Having a proper biblical worldview is critical as we engage others in culture. It’s also critical to teach it to the next generation so that they can stand firm in their faith, living in a postmodern culture that tries to teach them that there is no such thing as Truth.
- Be informed about the issues in our culture and see how a biblical worldview interconnects them all. Chuck was described as a leader with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. There is a temptation to avoid the news when everything seems so bleak but it is our charge to show the world hope in Jesus Christ — even in the bleakest of times. There are many resources listed below from the Colson Center and other partners that can help you stay abreast of current issues and informed on how we should talk about solutions in the public square. Please also consider buying the DVD “Breaking the Spiral of Silence” and hosting a gathering at your church or house (http://breakingthespiralofsilence.com/).
- Prayerfully consider becoming a Centurion. One of things Chuck was most proud of was the cohort of biblical worldview champions he helped train and commission through the Centurions Program. You can apply for the national program and there are also several regional affiliate programs — check out http://www.breakpoint.org/resources/centurions.
- Be a worldview advocate in your sphere of influence. God has placed you just where he needs you. Your vocation is your calling and you can have a dramatic impact for the Kingdom there. If you are in business, government, education, law, the arts, the social sector, teaching at church, homeschooling your kids — whatever you do with your time, talent and treasure — think about the impact you can make. There are many organizations you can join where you can gather with like-minded people in your vocation and work together to impact the culture in your sphere of influence. Don’t be a “closet Christian” at your place of work.
- Be a good citizen — understand the issues, advocate solutions based on Biblical principles and vote your conscience. Elections and politics will not fix the issues — we have to change culture since it precedes and shapes politics. However, God anoints government leaders (Romans 13:1) and it is our right and duties to elect leaders who we believe have integrity and represent the issues we feel passionate about. Some studies show that only half of Christians are registered to vote and only half of those that are registered actually do vote. We are not doing our duty as citizens if we fail to study the issues and the candidates and vote.
National Prayer Committee - http://nationalprayercommittee.com/
Presidential Prayer Team - http://presidentialprayerteam.com/
Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation - http://cpcfoundation.com/
American Prayer Initiative - http://americanprayerinitiative.org/
Intercessors for America - http://www.ifapray.org/
Networks of Christian leaders:
Mission America Coalition/Lausanne USA - http://www.missionamerica.org/
Awakening America Alliance - http://www.awakeningamerica.us/
Transform USA - http://www.transformusa.org/
Q - http://www.qideas.org/
The 4/14 Movement - http://4to14window.com/
Wide Angle - http://www.breakpoint.org/resources/wide-angle-curriculum
Focus on the Family’s Truth Project - http://www.thetruthproject.org/
Summit Ministries - http://www.summit.org/
Christian organizations in each Sphere of Influence:
C12 - http://www.c12group.com/
Convene - http://www.convenenow.com/
The Barnabas Group - http://www.barnabasgroup.org/
Pinnacle Forum - https://www.pinnacleforum.com/
Fellowship of Companies for Christ International (FCCI) - http://www.fcci.org
Christian Business Men’s Connection (CBMC) - http://cbmc.com/
Corporate Chaplains of America - http://www.chaplain.org/
Marketplace Chaplains - http://mchapusa.com/
Faith and Law - http://faithandlaw.org/
Heritage Foundation - http://www.heritage.org/
Trinity Forum - http://www.ttf.org/
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities - http://www.cccu.org/
Christian College Consortium - http://www.ccconsortium.org/
Association for Biblical Higher Education - http://www.ccconsortium.org/
Association of Christian Schools International - http://www.acsi.org/
Ratio Christi - http://ratiochristi.org/
Medicine and Biotechnology:
Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity – http://cbhd.org/
Christian Medical and Dental Society – http://cmda.org/
Arts, Entertainment, Media:
Act One - http://www.actoneprogram.com/
MasterMedia International - http://www.mastermediaintl.org/
Media Fellowship International - http://www.mediafellowship.org/index2.htm