Baylor University stands at a significant crossroads. For over one-hundred and fifty years Baylor has stood as a light for gospel in the heart of Texas. As the world has changed, Baylor has grown and thrived.
Currently the Baylor regents are searching for the 14th president of this great Texas Baptist school. The selection of a school president is by far one of the most important decisions in the life of a school, especially a private Christian university. In an educational environment where many historic Christian schools have wandered from their Christian roots, the role of the president is crucial.
I want to commend the Baylor Presidential Search committee for taking an unprecedented step of reaching out to the greater Baylor family to get input and feedback. Too often leaders are known for speaking and leading, and not so much listening. However, listening may be by far one of the most strategic skills of a good leader.
I had the honor to participate in one of those listening sessions led by chairperson Joe Armes, and Ken Hall a member of the advisory committee. This session was in conjunction with the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board meetings in Dallas. Six members of the search committee met with key officers, leaders, and staff members of the BGCT.
One consistent theme flowed through the meeting. The theme was that the next president needed to lead Baylor to continue to be tied to its historic Texas Baptist roots. The call was for Baylor to continue to be a center of education tied to a dynamic Christian faith, and an unquenchable quest for truth and excellence.
In a post-denominational world, when so many Christian institutions and conventions are struggling for relevance and significance. It is essential that Baylor continue to train and equip the next generation of young leaders to make a difference for the Kingdom of God in every facet of life. In many ways, Baylor holds one of the important keys to Texas Baptist life, because if the BGCT loses touch with the next generation of leaders, I fear it is game over.
One final observation: The Baylor family in recent years has had its fair share of struggles. Various lines have been drawn in the sand as strong leadership factions has struggled to shape the future of this great school. I believe each faction has the best of Baylor at heart, but their agendas have not always been compatible. I would strongly encourage everyone who wants to influence Baylor’s future to remember that the bottom line is the students. Baylor does not exist for the alumni, nor faculty and administration. Baylor does not exist for the regents or the churches. Baylor exists for students; a generation of students that have been unique equipped and called to touch the world for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Sometimes remembering why you exist helps to put into perspective what you need to be doing.
I pray the LORD will raise up a leader for Baylor that will position this great school to continue to be a shining light in the world as it equips and unleashes another generation of young leaders for the glory of God.