It's not news to anyone paying attention that we have a crisis of leadership in America. Our leaders in Washington, starting from the Oval Office on down, have bungled almost everything they have touched since January, often shooting themselves in both feet -- multiple times -- while the American citizenry is stuck paying the medical bills. From the Afghanistan disaster, to the fiasco along our southern border, to the vaccine mandate debacle, to the threatening of parental rights at school board meetings, to the inconceivably massive increase in our national debt, it's more than clear that our leaders are not just failing, they are threatening to bring down the country with them.
On the final day of the Pray Vote Stand Summit, a recurring theme emerged during the morning session amongst the speakers and panelists: it's high time that people of faith step forward and take hold of the reins by fearlessly leading with the truth of God's word.
Houston Baptist University professor Nancy Pearcey urged the summit to lead with the positive message that Scripture reveals about the human body when engaging with LGBT issues. "When we live in harmony with [scriptural] design, we will be happier and healthier," she noted. Pearcey also encouraged pastors to not be afraid to teach "apologetics from the pulpit" in order to educate and empower their congregations to engage in the cultural battle for hearts and minds.
But it's not just pastors who are responsible for leadership. Parents must be at the forefront of leading their children to faith. As George Barna emphasized, one of the primary ways parents can lead their children is by being the gatekeepers to what media they absorb using the four "m's": monitor, minimize, mediate, and moralize. FRC's Joseph Backholm further noted that parents must "invest in our children for the 16,000 hours of education" they receive outside of the church every year.
Katy Faust, the founder of Them Before Us, exhorted the summit to lead a new movement for "children's rights" due to the ways in which the desires of adults "are being prioritized above children's rights," not only through LGBT-identifying couples who demand their children be considered biologically their own, but also from no fault divorce, surrogate motherhood, and other societal ills that rob children of their right to a mother and father. "Adults need to do the hard things so children don't have to," Faust observed.
Former Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback gave the summit some much needed encouragement. As dark as things may get, he said, "the kingdom of man will never subdue the kingdom of God." He noted that things in America may get dire for believers, but this is no reason to despair. "Faith isn't faith until it's all you have," Brownback observed. "God doesn't need a majority, all he needs is a remnant -- so that we know that it's he that did it and not us."
Making a perhaps unexpected appearance at the summit was John Cooper, the lead singer for the rock band Skillet. But as he made clear, no matter what vocation believers are called to, they can lead with the truth of the gospel. "This is our Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego moment," he exhorted the church. Cooper also had a special message for fathers to lead through vulnerability: "Your kids need to see you sing a love song to Jesus Christ," he said. And no matter what happens in the future, Cooper had a resolute message of hope for believers: "It is a privilege to share in the sufferings of Jesus."
Be sure to tune in to the final session livestream of the Pray Vote Stand Summit tonight at 7 p.m. EST to see Allie Stuckey, Darrell Harrison, Virgil Walker, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Carter Conlon, and more. And remember, if you missed any of the speakers and panels at the summit, you can watch them on demand at our video archives.