Nehemiah wasn't a prophet, priest, or king. He was a trusted government worker. Today, he might be the CEO's right hand man. His story is highly relevant to business majors and faculty who are helping to prepare them to be future shapers.
Because Nehemiah was good at his job and because he lived a godly life, he had a platform to influence the chief decision maker of the kingdom. Because he had a heart for his people and for God's glory, he was able to use that platform to rebuild Jerusalem.
Today, Christians are increasingly like Israel in Nebuchadnezzar's time. We are living in a godless land and are an occupied people. Increasingly, the Church is perceived as no longer relevant to our postmodern and post-Christian nation. Capitalism is increasingly reviled. But, men and women that are good at their jobs and who live godly lives, may (through God's grace) be able to influence those around them. Business people who consider themselves “cupbearers to kings” become evangelists on the front lines. We are the missionaries. We can be the ones that God uses to rebuild "Jerusalem" and He may work through us to bring revival to our land.
Whether a specific Christian university or Christian faculty member uses “Future Shapers” purposefully in their language or references Nehemiah in their curriculum, nearly all Christian business faculty are nevertheless integrating their faith in the classroom for this purpose. Thus, the conference theme should be broad enough to capture most forms of CBFA scholarship. The theme will help the faculty member(s) to focus the narrative surrounding their scholarship in a “king-influencing” way that should be beneficial in helping individuals apply their material in a kingdom building way.
Ultimately, each Christian is a cupbearer to The King, and we are hopeful that the conference theme will bring glory to our Lord.
Oklahoma Baptist University is located in central Oklahoma. It is easily accessible from I-40 and about 30 minutes east of Oklahoma City. Shawnee is home to four Native American tribes with a rich pre-statehood history. Our city of just over 30,000 has several museums, is the home of several manufacturing companies and the birth place of Sonic Drive-in.
Scheduled during OBU’s Fall Break, conference attendees will have full access to the Bailey Business Center for conference sessions. The Geiger Center (student center) will host our meals as well as the poster sessions. There are several hotels just a couple of miles away from campus with very affordable rates.
Drs. Rudebock, Walker, and Houghton have been long-time attendees of CBFA conferences. Along with the rest of our faculty and staff, it is our honor to serve the CBFA membership by addressing the need for a 2022 conference host.