“One of the reasons I like to give Chapel at the beginning of each semester is that I’m trying to make as much sense out of this thing called Grand Canyon University as I can. And the only way for me to make sense of it and be sure that I’m making the right sense of it is to read the New Testament.” – Brian Mueller, GCU President
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Brian Mueller regularly fields questions about what is happening at “this thing called Grand Canyon University.” His leadoff talk at Chapel each semester is a high-profile opportunity to share some answers.
And of this he has no doubt:
“This can’t happen without God wanting it to happen at this time and this place. It is Him that is doing it, and it is powerful work that He is doing,” he told his audience, primarily students, Monday in Chapel at GCU Arena.
“And what I want you to know is, you’re having an impact. People view you when you go out into the community differently – it’s not because of who you are, it’s because of the faith that you have and it’s because God is in you.”
That’s why Mueller says it’s the wrong question when people ask why his goal is to grow GCU to 30,000 students. “The question should be,” he said, “why aren’t there 30 of these with 30,000 students?”
As in one apiece in 30 major cities. Mueller cited an International Organization for Migration report stating that 3 million people move to cities every week. By 2030, the report predicted, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities – it was 30 percent in 1950.
Mueller had begun his talk by asking a simple question: “Are you full-time or part-time?” For the church – and students – to have more of an impact of those cities, he said, we must understand what it takes to be full-time because “we don’t have any part-timers in the Kingdom. We are all full-timers.”
Throughout his talk, he sprinkled in various readings from the New Testament. Here’s each one, with a brief description:
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – The need for self-discipline in our lives
Matthew 4:18-20 – Jesus invites Peter and Andrew to join Him
Luke 3:1-14 – John the Baptist prepares the way for the Lord
Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 – Jesus’ listeners at the synagogue question His credentials
Luke 10:25-37 – Parable of the Good Samaritan
Matthew 25:14-30 – Parable of the servants who received bags of gold from their master
1 Corinthians 9:1-23 – Paul’s rights as an apostle
As an example of what it means to be a full-timer, Mueller cited what GCU students did for Garcia Elementary School last year when they taught there as part of a University initiative. They saw that the Garcia library wasn’t well-stocked, so they started a book drive that collected 2,200 books.
“Their impact in that school will now be felt for generations,” he said. “And so here’s what I mean is the difference between full- and part-time: If you went in there and you took your classes and you did your teaching, as a Christian we’re part-time that way. That’s part-time.
“But when you go the extra step and you say, ‘How can we help way above and beyond and how can we impact generations?’, now you’re full-time.”
And here’s how that extrapolates as GCU keeps growing, in Mueller’s view:
“When you think about what you’re going to do this semester, when you think about what you’re going to do for a living, what I hope is that you will say, ‘We don’t have any part-timers in the Kingdom. There are no part-timers. We … are … all … full-time ministers, and when the University gets to 30,000 students and we are graduating five or six thousand students on an annual basis and they are going out into the hospitals and they are going out into the school districts and they are going out into the businesses and to the technology firms as a full-timer, we will start impacting and transforming cities. …
“I want you to think about what we could do in cities if all the Christians in those cities would think of themselves as full-time. We’ve got to get that word ‘part-time’ out of our vocabulary.”
No question about that.
● For a replay of Chapel, including the music by the Worship Team, click here.
● Next week’s speaker: Josh McDowell of Josh McDowell Ministries
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.