In a world that often seems out of control, Harry Walls can understand the desire of some Christians to hunker down and keep to themselves.
“It’s reasonable,” TMU’s campus pastor says. “It’s just not biblical.”
That’s one reason Walls is excited about TMU’s chapel theme for the 2021-22 school year, Salt & Light. He wants to exhort the school’s student body to engage the culture in a way that aligns with Christ’s words in Matthew 5. There, Christ first tells his listeners what defines the blessed (the Beatitudes). Then He explains how they can be a blessing: by being the salt of the Earth and the light of the world.
“At The Master’s University, we’re training students to be agents of influence so that Christ is exulted as He ought to be and the world is impacted as it needs to be,” Walls says.
Walls hopes this year’s chapel messages will prompt TMU students to not see themselves as helpless victims in a hopeless world. Rather, Christians have been commissioned by God to benefit those around them on His behalf — by sharing the truth of God’s Word and by living lives characterized by gracious attitudes and good deeds. And that kind of impact requires Christians to be in close proximity to those they’re trying to influence.
“You have influence. Use it,” Walls says. “I’m going to challenge the students to engage the culture. I’m going to challenge them to go beyond our bubble, to get out of our bunker, get out of the saltshaker and get into a place where they can make a difference.”
This year’s speakers are certainly up to the task of helping drive that point home. The lineup of expositors includes John MacArthur, Abner Chou, Austin Duncan, Costi Hinn and Paul Washer, among others.
“I trust that these men will be used by God to help our students advance in their affection for the things that matter to God and advance in their understanding of the ways to bring glory to God in a culture that desperately needs Him,” Walls says.
“Salt & Light” comes on the heels of “Under the Sun,” last year’s theme which focused on lessons from the book of Ecclesiastes. The year before, chapel speakers dove into “Compelling Christianity.” But while the themes may change, the mission of chapel, which meets three times each week at TMU, remains the same. “Chapel is the heart of our community,” Walls says. “It’s where we help students grow in the truth, help students apply the truth and then help nurture their hearts to follow God in the truth.”