Nasser shares vision for future Convocations, supported by Falwell
Liberty University Senior Vice President for Spiritual Development David Nasser emphasized in Convocation on Monday that his vision as campus pastor is the same as that of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Liberty’s founder.
“We want to train Champions for Christ,” Nasser said. “It’s what we’ve been doing since 1971 and we’re going to keep on doing it. We will not take our eyes off of our mandate from God. That’s what we do.”
His specific involvement to that end is through Convocation, as well as the direction of Liberty’s Campus Band and the Center for Global Engagement, with the combined purpose of engaging the student body in ministry opportunities throughout the country and around the world.
“My job at the end of the day is ‘How do we do ministry to the body and mission with the body?” Nasser asked. “How do we send you out to be Champions for Christ? And so every day I wake up and that is what I eat, breathe, sleep, pray about, fast about, ask the Lord about, listen to my team about.”
He said the vision of Dr. Falwell lives on, with convictions and principles passed on from previous generations to the present time, and prophetic purpose for an even brighter future.
“Vision is this thing where God gives us this supernatural ability to at all times, at every single second, be able to see all the past, present, and future at the same time,” Nasser said. “That is exactly why we get together and sing, Jesus, ‘Be Thou My Vision.’ Because it is supernatural.
“We’re literally asking the One who actually can do that, the One who can actually live up to that standard, seeing everything in the past, seeing everything in the present, and everything in the future at the same time, we’re saying ‘God, we simply have no ability to do that unless You give us eyes to see as You would see, unless we see through the lens of scripture, unless we see through the lens of the Holy Spirit, unless we see through the lens of what God has.”
Liberty President Jerry Falwell preceded Nasser’s address by noting change is inevitable, and that only what is done for God will last.
“Most of you have been here long enough now to realize that the one thing that’s constant about Liberty University is change,” he said. “Everything’s being changed constantly,” including the dorms and classrooms currently being replaced in the $500 million campus rebuilding. “Everybody seems to hate change, but everybody loves progress. (But) you can’t have one without the other.”
Falwell knew when he first talked to Nasser about coming to Liberty that he would not be a replacement for Johnnie Moore. (Moore left Liberty this summer to serve as the chief of staff for award-winning film and television producer Mark Burnett.) Instead, they both realized that Nasser would use his own unique gifts to equip the student body to advance God’s kingdom.
“David talked about how all of us have our God-given strengths and gifts, and how some of us are meant to be administrators, and others are meant to be prophets, preachers, and others are meant to be priests to minister to people in the hospital, people in need,” he said. “As he explained those different roles, it reminded me of when my father was the spiritual leader here, he was the pastor, I was the sort of the business guy that took care of the legal and business matters in the back office. And the two roles complemented each other well. And I realized then that David Nasser was going to play more of that role, more of the pastoral, campus pastor role.”
He credited Moore for helping to bring in the diverse group of speakers to take Convocation to a higher level than where it was before and said Nasser will continue that progression into the future.
“As our discussions have unfolded over the last few months, we finalized the discussion (Sunday) after church, and we talked about how to move forward, and what should be done in the future to make Convocation an even more enriching experience for all of you, and to build on what Johnnie Moore and others have done here,” Falwell said. “I’m convinced that you will be as excited and as inspired as I am by David Nasser’s vision for the future of Convocation.”
Nasser later outlined changes that he believes will keep Convocation fresh and interesting, as well as spiritually edifying and invigorating. He proposed a plan with rotating Mondays every month when Convocations will be focused on “prayer” the first week, “praise” the second, “plans” the third, and “play” the final week, which could include a guest comedian or recording artist, food trucks, or a pep rally for Homecoming.
“We’re just going to come in here, have fun,” he said. “Y’all love Christmas Convo? We’re going to have like nine of those. So, we’re going to have a good time. All right?”
He has already invited praise and worship leader Justin Kintzel, who announced last week he would be leaving the Campus Band, back for Christmas Convocation.