This sponsored post was prepared by Erik Odegard, Director of Fusion at Midwestern College.
“Oh God, please do whatever it takes to make me happy.”
This was the cry of a sixteen year-old unconverted boy we encountered on one mission trip. And while this statement may elicit a number of theological concerns, one thing it preeminently displays is a subtle distortion of man’s central need for God. Unfortunately, this error of self-orientation is repeated in the heart of every person who has sinned against God; it is in every single one of us. It comes as no surprise, then, that our young people are repeating this same cry day after day, in a million different ways expressing their inner longing for ultimate purpose in life. This is why Midwestern College’s Fusion program aims to help young believers answer this ultimate question of purpose, largely by reframing it.
Fusion walks adolescents through a directed process leading toward biblical adulthood. We believe that the distinguishing mark of a biblical adult is his or her living for the glory of God in every thought, word, and action. We understand that God’s ultimate purpose in all that he does is to exalt his glory; therefore, man’s purpose is to exalt him in all that he does. Fusion helps young believers to take personal ownership of a transcendent cause that motivates everything that they do. The greatest cause in all the world is the exaltation of God’s glory!
Fusion recognizes that disciples will only live for God’s glory if they are compelled by the gospel. So, we find means to constantly remind young believers of the gospel so that they will live sacrificially for God’s glory. Fusion “candidates” (first-year Fusion students) are placed into “cohorts” (teams) in order to practice life-on-life discipleship. Cohorts live, eat, sleep, work out, study, and train together for 120 days on campus. This has proven to be a powerful context in which to apply the gospel to every square inch of life.
Each cohort is given an “advocate” (team leader) who has a track record of living for God’s glory in all of life. The advocate mentors each candidate, leading by example and providing encouragement, direction, and gentle correction. Providentially positioned in Kansas City, Fusion teams have the privilege of receiving formal instruction on the gospel at Midwestern College, hearing and seeing it weekly in healthy church partnerships, and proclaiming it boldly throughout the city.
The greatest need across the globe is this the arrival of the gospel. This gospel must not be hoarded for ourselves, but must be heralded among the nations. Jesus commanded, as his final assignment for His devotees, that disciples be made through the witness of His church among all the nations. And so the church will continue, trusting in Jesus’ promise that a number from every people group on the planet will believe, until this age ends at Christ’s return.
Yet global realities 2000 years later imply that this assignment has not been completed. The glory of God is not known nor appreciated among the 3.1 billion people of the world who have few, if any, Christians among their people. And it’s obvious why these people are still unreached. Unreached people groups are hard to reach. Only disciples who worship the One who laid aside all comforts and rights to save rebels will be willing to do whatever it takes to reach the unreached.
Fusion is raising up a generation of young believers who are compelled by the gospel to do whatever it takes to bring the light of the glory of God into the darkest places in the world. In a word, Fusion trains hard for hard places. Over the course of one semester, teams commit to a disciplined lifestyle to be sharpened in order to penetrate insulated nations. Teams are trained in new languages, world religions, Bible interpretation, and evangelism strategies in order to aptly communicate the gospel cross-culturally. Students become equipped to navigate public transportation systems, implement first aid and survival tools, maintain physical conditioning, and utilize security principles in order to cope with the harsh practical realities of life in hard places. The Fusion process is consummated in a 120 day deployment to faithfully use their training to enter tough places, proclaim the gospel, disciple those who believe, gather them into healthy churches, raise up biblically trained leaders, and entrust these people to their Overseer.
I should tell you that the Lord graciously answered that teenager’s cry. After his conversion, he learned that his life was to be lived for the One who died for him and rose again (2 Cor. 5:15). It certainly made him happy, but only through his realizing that everlasting life brings a greater joy than circumstantial happiness could ever give! It was through the Fusion process that he was trained to live So Others May Hear and Live. That has become Fusion’s motto, our primary objective and directive, summed up in our commonly used acronym SOMHAL. But this directive shouldn’t just belong to us; rather, it ought to be the transcendent cause of every believer—to enjoy God and glorify him, especially through making disciples among all nations until Christ returns. This is the cause we were created for and the only one worth living for. Our young believers are crying out for this ultimate purpose for their lives. Are we training them to live So Others May Hear and Live?
Watch a short video from David Platt about Fusion and learn more about the program and Midwestern College here.