CU Vice President Chowning Shares Joy of Christian Service

CU Vice President Chowning Shares Joy of Christian Service

Feb. 9, 2010
For Immediate Release


By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator


CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “In order to find your calling, we have to be willing to give of ourselves in service to others…and in so doing, we will discover the absolute joy of Christian service.”

    The Rev. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, who also serves as pastor of Saloma Baptist Church, spoke of servant leadership to about 500 new freshmen as a part of the Freshman Year Experience Feb. 8 in Ransdell Chapel.

   John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, speaks of the "absolute joy of Christian service" at the First-Year Experience event Feb. 8 in Ransdell Chapel. (Campbellsville University Photo by Munkh-Amgalan Galsanjamts)

     Chowning said, “Service to others is a foundational element of our Christian faith.” He said that we will find “self-fulfillment and a deep sense of joy and peace that is not available to other kinds of leaders. Service to others is a foundational element of our Christian faith.”

    He quoted the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 10, beginning in verse 34, when James and John approach Jesus and asked if they can sit at His right and His left in His glory.

    He read from verse 42 and thereafter:  “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Chowning said Jesus did not come to be served – He came to serve – and that is His expectation of us as His people.

    He also quoted the sixth chapter of Micah where the Lord’s case against Israel is presented. He said that “Micah is speaking to us in very simple terms – to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.  In order to do so, we must serve others.”

    Chowning said Campbellsville University students, faculty and staff should read “The Case for Servant Leadership” by Kent M. Keith in which he writes, “When we look deeply into ourselves, most of us discover that we truly care about people, and want to make a positive difference in their lives.”

    Chowning said at Campbellsville University there are many mentions of servant leadership including a new “bold blueprint” for the future of Campbellsville University called “Vision 2025 – Preparing Christian Servant Leaders.”

    He said one of the primary goals of Vision 2025 is to engage all to be involved in servant leadership, ministry to others, community service, etc.

    Chowning said servant leadership is an “accepted and utilized theory of leadership by giving of ourselves to others…it’s a way of finding your calling…it’s the key to living a life of peace and joy…you can serve others regardless of your spiritual gifts, monetary means, physical prowess, academic abilities, languages you speak, or other factors you may face.”

    He gave four books that would be resources for servant leadership with the Bible as the primary text. Others are “The Case for Servant Leadership” by Kent M. Keith, “101 Ways to Help People in Need” by Steve and Janie Sjogren and “101 Ways to Reach Your Community” by Steve Sjogren. He said Robert K. Greenleaf launched the modern servant leadership movement in America in 1970 in his classic essay, “The Servant as Leader.”

    Chowning provided a list of potential community points of service including agencies, offices, organizations, churches, etc. that have indicated an interest in having Campbellsville University students to spend some time in doing community service.

    He pointed out that projects do not have to be complex; they can be simple yet meaningful.

    Small groups of 20 or so will be discussing and selecting service projects to perform during the spring 2010 semester.

    He quoted Keith from “The Case for Servant Leadership” saying l l l; eadership is about, “creating a better world. There does not have to be so much pain and suffering, so much war and violence, so much starvation and disease, so many crushed dreams and untapped talents, so many problems unsolved and opportunities ignored. The world does not have to be like this.”

    Chowning said, in his nearly six decades of life, he has come to understand, through the nudge of God’s Holy Spirit and His “still small voice” that “I find the greatest depth of joy and peace in serving others…in reaching out to others…in giving to others…in serving my fellow human beings…in sharing Jesus Christ with others…yes, in sharing His plan of salvation, but also in sharing a kind word, a smile, a simple affirmation, a kind word, a small note or card or telephone call, getting acquainted with those who have a different skin color or ethnicity, advocating for those who are persecuted and overlooked…in empowering those in poverty and who have suffered injustice.”

    Other upcoming speakers at the Freshman Year Experience class are Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen Feb. 15 and other vice presidents from Campbellsville University Feb. 22.

   Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.    

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