Summary: The Vision Statement of 1998

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Jerry Falwell


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.


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.

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