The Rev. Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church and son of Liberty University founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., challenged students in Wednesday’s Convocation to live a life that reflects God’s heart.
Falwell, in his fifth year as senior pastor of TRBC, leads the 20,000-member church and 250 staff members.
“I look around this room today and see thousands of young people from all over the world. The kind of impact that can come from a crowd this large is hard to understand and comprehend,” Falwell said Wednesday. “What can be done and accomplished with and through the people gathered in this room if we would all be men and women after God’s own heart is incredible.”
Falwell preached from Romans 12:9-21 on how to be strong in the Lord by exemplifying God-given characteristics. He said Christians must learn to love, serve, persevere and care the way God does for us.
He acknowledged outside criticism of the church, how people talk about “those Christians” who lie and cheat, making hypocrisy more common, and about “press release Christians” who want to make sure their service is recognized.
“We the church have not been acting like the church. We go through the motions, we sing the songs, we carry the Bible, we show up to church when we are supposed to, we do all the things that in our minds relate or equate to godly living except for the things that actually equate to godly living,” Falwell said.
He encouraged students to be “leaders in the kingdom of God” by trusting in the Lord for guidance and having godly motivation.
Falwell read Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
“The church today is in need of godly leaders,” Falwell said. “My challenge to you is just do it.”