The next generation of evangelical leaders is likely to be multicultural, philanthropy-minded, technologically savvy, artistically creative and ecumenical, while balancing prolife and environmental concerns.
Those are the predominant values and causes evident among the 33 young evangelicals Christianity Today magazine (July/August) profiles as the new face of Christian leadership. While not pretending to be a representative sample of emerging evangelical leadership, the magazine consulted ministry leaders, “highly connected social media mavens, and millennials themselves” to create their list.
They are said to represent the millennial generation, born in the 1980s and ‘90s, and having “grown up as digital natives. Most of them seamlessly incorporate technology into their lives, careers and ministries. They also come from the most racially diverse generation in American history: More than 4 out of 10 U.S. millennials are non-white.” In the list of 33 emerging leaders, 13 are Asian, Hispanic, or African-American. Ten of the leaders are women.
Connecting missions, philanthropy with entrepreneurialism, is an ogoing concern for about one-third of the emerging leaders. This could be seen in 32-year-old Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s philanthropic work with Twitter and Joshua Dubois, a former faith advisor for the Obama administration who founded Values Partnership, which connects faith communities with business and government groups. Only three of these emerging leaders are involved in government or political activism.
Lila Rose, 25, is the founder of Live Action, which engages in controversial stealth tactic and social media efforts against abortion. Rose is a Catholic convert and at least one of the other emerging leaders is a Catholic. Among the few dealing with gay rights is a celibate gay professor who avoids “contentious political debates or suggestions of reparation therapy.”
(Christianity Today, 365 Gundersen Dr., Carol Stream, IL 60188.)