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Summary: The Vision Statement of 1998

VISION STATEMENT 1998

By

Jerry Falwell

INTRODUCTION

A Doctrinal Statement tells others what you believe. Our doctrinal statement tells others we are an evangelical educational institution.

A Mission Statement tells how an organization does its ministry. As an illustration, the mission statement of Thomas Road Baptist Church would include soul-winning, baptizing, and Bible teaching because we are committed to the Great Commission.

A Vision Statement tells where an organization is going. This sermon is about my vision statement of 1998.

But it does no good to have a great vision statement that tells you where you are going, if you don’t have the fuel in your tank (fire in your belly) to motivate you to get where you are going.

I must live for Jesus Christ to have His power flowing through me to be a leader. Remember, people will always buy into you as the leader, before they buy into the vision of the University. The first Law of Leadership is the Law of Dreams/Visions. When people buy into your vision, they buy into your leadership. Therefore for you to be a leader, you must be a visionary leader. For me to be a leader, I must be a visionary Chancellor.

A. WHY THIS MESSAGE?

1. Liberty and America have experienced tremendous changes in the past few years. America is not the same nation that she was when Liberty was founded. Liberty is not the same school, when she was founded.

Please understand, the purposes of Liberty remain the same, the principles remain the same, and we have not changed our doctrinal statement. But we have different faculty, additional majors, new schools, and new athletic programs. We need a new vision from year to year.

Liberty University has responded to the needs of America with compassion; Liberty University is not responding to the needs of 1971, we are gearing up to respond to the needs of 2000 AD.

I have pastored in five decades. I have pastored since the last part of the 50s. Let me characterize each decade for you.

50s: A Maintenance Decade - life continued after WWII as it was before the war.

60s: A Decade of Revolution - the young people began throwing off the restraints of the establishment; this was the Decade of Anti-Vietnam, hippies, free-love and drugs.

70s: The Beginning of Decline - two things I remember in this decade: First, in the 70s this was the decade of America’s decline; but second, this was the decade of the mega-church. Let’s go back to the first point. The greatness of America was beginning to erode—Watergate, our first impeachment of a US President, lack of national trust—and the 70s ended with Americans imprisoned in Iran, while President Carter was incapable of doing anything about it.

While America was declining, this decade ushered in the mega-church movement. At the beginning of the 70s, Thomas Road Baptist Church was the 9th largest in the US with an attendance of 2640. By the time the 70s were over, we averaged approximately 8,000 in attendance. Thomas Road Baptist Church was growing, but so were a number of other churches. At the beginning of the 70s, there were only about 100 mega churches in the United States (with attendance over 1,000). At the end of the 70s, there were approximately 4,000 mega-churches in the US according to the research of Dr. Elmer Towns.

80s: A Decade of Militancy - two forces were organized into militant camps in the 80s. First, the fundamentalists organized Moral Majority to stand against four specific evils:

(1) abortion, (2) homosexuality, (3) watering down of US military might, and (4) a firm stand for Israel’s defense.

There were many other organizations that were started to help us, but Moral Majority was the leader in the early 80s. Good Housekeeping Magazine voted me Man of the Year because of my leadership on moral issues. But in this Decade of Militancy, the opposition also organized. The NOW, ACLU, and other groups that hated what we stood for, came into existence along with the homosexuals, the pro-choice faction and many other groups.

90s: A Decade of the Boomer and prosperity - the Boomers came of age in the 90s and with them, they brought prosperity. The Boomers became dominate with their theme, “You can have it all.” We’ve seen financial prosperity, not because of Clinton, but because of the foundation laid by President Reagan. Along with money came all types of entertainment, and information through the Internet. Americans gained a new freedom, and exceptions were made in the White House and exceptions were made by the citizens.

Before Clinton: Presidents have made exceptions for the American people.

After Clinton: The people must make exceptions for the President.

Review of Liberty University in these decades:

70s: Liberty had a Pioneering Decade. We went to classes on school buses, and lived on an island or in a downtown hotel. We fought to get everything started-- classes, accreditation, sports teams, recruitment, etc.

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