So much of our ministry’s work at the Alliance Defense Fund involves litigation, that I’m sure many think it’s the most crucial thing we do. And litigation is critical – but so are many other things.
Among the most important is our commitment to build, strengthen, and expand the alliance between Christian ministries, organizations, and individuals. We constantly strive to bring people together, work with them in developing nation-shaping strategies for action, train them for the challenges of defending religious liberty, and – where possible – help fund their efforts to carry that fight for freedom onward.
That’s why two of the most crucial programs ADF sponsors are the Blackstone Legal Fellowship and the National Litigation Academy – the first preparing the next generation of Christian attorneys, and the second preparing this generation … those who are standing for freedom today.
This past summer, we invited to the Academy session not only our staff and allied attorneys, but 131 allied lawyers all committing pro bono service to the Body of Christ: 31 ADF ambassador couples, each spreading the word to people all over America about the good work this ministry is doing to protect religious liberty … the leaders of our country’s Family Policy Councils, whose tireless work in state legislatures complements so effectively what we’re laboring to accomplish in the courtrooms … and 16 pastors from every corner of the country.
The pastors represent denominations and congregations of every size and region. They are united not by their unanimous convictions on finer points of Christian theology or by their worship styles, but by their love for our Lord and their growing recognition of the profound threat posed to Christians around the world by an increasingly hostile, aggressive legal culture.
These pastors are critically positioned to awaken the consciences of believers throughout America to the reality of what is happening all around them – and by God’s grace, to fan the fires of courage all Christians will need to stand strong amid the persecutions and prosecutions ahead. It’s a daunting task, and one that will demand the deepest faith and unswerving convictions of each of these bold servant-leaders, and of the congregations that stand true alongside them.
Jesus gave His disciples the “keys of the kingdom.” But these pastors, in many ways, hold the keys to tomorrow in America. Without the message only they can preach, and the example only they can set, Christians will sleep on, oblivious to the building danger. Pray for these pastors, as they use those keys … and as they become, more and more, a keystone of the ADF ministry alliance.