Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) Virtual Webinars Feature Authors Justin Giboney and Dr. Shelette Stewart

September Webinars

Redemptive Justice

In an age of increasing political polarization, siloed partisanship, and ideological tribalism, Justin Giboney encouraged those gathered on September 9th in a virtual webinar on the topic of redemptive justice to “be Christian” first.

Giboney is co-founder and president of The AND Campaign, which seeks to educate and organize Christians for a Biblically-balanced civic and cultural engagement in politics. He is an attorney and political strategist, a contributing author of Compassion (&) Conviction (Intervarsity Press, 2020), frequently writes for publications such as Christianity Today and The Hill, and served as the co-chair of Obama for America's Gen44-Atlanta initiative.

Giboney stressed repeatedly throughout the evening that Christians must define their identity in the Bible rather than by a political party. The question before them as they engage the political space is not “What do we want to accomplish?” but rather “What have we been sent to accomplish?” “Worldview and biblical theology matters if Christians want to have an effective political witness,” said Giboney. He went on to articulate that being well informed and prepared to speak on the issues is also important, and to do so as ambassadors of Christ with humble civility and respect even toward those who do not share our policy perspectives.

Giboney had words of exhortation for both conservatives and progressives. Christians, he lovingly warned, must not follow one ideological tribe as infallible, but should be set apart and be ready to supply both sides with “heavy doses of love and truth.” This includes, Giboney later shared in a time of Q&A, that we hold our elected leaders, including the ones we ourselves voted in, accountable for the character of his/her rhetoric and policies he/she upholds.

Neither conservativism nor progressivism is the Gospel, he repeatedly stressed. While one is often associated with truth and the other with love, Giboney argued that these are false dichotomies born of man-made ideological systems, whereas the mature Biblical way brings both together so that Christians demonstrate compassion in actively pursuing social justice for their marginalized neighbors and continue to preach the spiritual Gospel and stand on biblical conviction for moral order in society.

Regarding policies of social justice and racial equality, Giboney acknowledged that the churches in history, though not always, have more often failed to lead as witnesses in this area, which has allowed more secular-driven movements like BLM to step in and fill that space. The Church should lead out in progressing toward reconciliation and justice and build a credible witness for Christ, and Christians are called to love in both word and deed. Even this call to action goes beyond acts of personal charity to support democratic and systemic change where justice is being neglected or withheld, even when that often means we must deny ourselves and lay aside our own self-interest. What if we or someone within our own family was unjustly imprisoned, asked Giboney. Would we not want everything to be done to help them? So should we be toward all who share the image of God and whom, through the Gospel, we call our neighbors?

Giboney urged against progressivism that the Bible remains unchanging truth even though churches may not have followed its teachings closely enough, but he also spoke to conservatives not to walk away from social justice because they might not agree with everything about a particular organization. There is a way we can work for justice where certain goals intersect and yet be clear when our “values diverge.” Instead, he wisely summed up, “show them a better way to do it,” a more Biblical way.

To view the full webinar >>>

To learn more about The And Campaign >>>

Connecting your Career with Your Calling

Award-winning author of Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life ©, Dr. Shelette Stewart led a virtual webinar on the topic of knowing your calling and finding a matching career that enriches both personal fulfillment in work and effectiveness in industry service. “We spend too much time at work not to enjoy it,” she remarked, noting studies that indicate 70% feel disengaged from their current job. This, she says, is “unacceptable,” especially for servants of the Kingdom who are given just one life to make it count both personally and professionally.

Sometimes these seasons of discontent can be the Lord’s way of nudging us into new opportunities for influence, Dr. Stewart commented. She shared openly about the time she entered her own period of career discontentment that motivated her to take a sabbatical and begin writing a book reflecting on the connection of the corporate profession (career) and personal mission (calling). Dr. Stewart spent several years completing the award-winning book, resigned from her position at Harvard Business School, and devoted her next steps to establishing Stewart Consulting, LLC, an agency that helps businesses, especially in our current climate of economic challenge, to develop a clear purpose-driven vision (Proverbs 29:18) and then commit that vision to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3).  

When it comes to individuals in seasons of uncertainty and transition who may be looking for a path to a more fulfilling and spiritually edifying career, Dr. Stewart offered six practical insights:  

  1. “Begin from Within”: Am I looking to the world for vision or am I asking what God wants me to do? For what deeper life question will my life be the answer?
  2. “Pay Attention to the Clues”: What areas of gifting do I naturally excel at? What am I regularly complimented about by others?
  3. “Start Stirring” – What is my passion? What are the products and services that interest me the most? What problem do I most want to solve or what social issues spur me to want to take action?
  4. “Obey Your Thirst” – What am I thirsting after creatively, spiritually, professionally? Is this feeling of being unsettled possibly the Holy Spirit leading me into a new season?
  5. “Do and Pursue Who You are Already Are” – In what unique and authentic way has God designed me? What unique contribution can I alone make?
  6. “Focus on Leaving a Positive, Lasting Legacy” – What impact do I want to have beyond my immediate sphere of influence? What difference can I make that will serve others for generations to come? 

Finally, Dr. Stewart encouraged listeners on the webinar to leverage their community of godly mentors and advisors and then to take a quantum leap of faith or even just baby steps toward change of profession (as 75% fail on execution). Life is short, she repeated in her final exhortation. Make life count. Raise the bar of personal and professional excellence as leaders rather than followers of the world.

Dr. K. Shelette Stewart has over 20 years of leadership experience as a business practitioner and academician with leading organizations including Harvard Business School, The Coca-Cola Company, and BellSouth / AT&T in strategic business planning, business development, and marketing. She is a Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Program Specialist and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration. A graduate of Harvard University, Dr. Stewart is the founder and principal of Stewart Consulting, LLC, a strategic planning firm, launched in 2007, serving global companies, non-profits, and higher education by developing plans and programs to help them pivot and thrive during these unprecedented times. Dr. Stewart’s book, Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life ©, has been formally endorsed by several industry leaders including Dan Cathy, Chairman, and CEO of Chick-fil-A. 

A highly sought-after international speaker, Dr. Stewart has served as the keynote speaker for many leading organizations and is the recipient of The YWCA of Greater Atlanta & The Coca-Cola Company Salute to Women of Achievement Award.

To learn more about Stewart Consulting, LLC >>> 

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.

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