Fusion preps students to live out God’s call
Midwestern Bible College attendees get real life training
By Lee Warren
June 28, 2005
KANSAS CITY — If you are a high school or college graduate, age 18-24, and you are looking for a way to live out your faith in whatever mission that God has given to you, Scott Brawner, dean of students at Midwestern Baptist College and president of Faithworks! Ministries, believes that he has the answer: Fusion.
Fusion, a new ministry founded by Brawner in January under the umbrella of Faithworks!, is a program that lasts for one school year. It is currently offered at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as an accredited program.
The program has two distinct phases. Phase one includes intense interactive training in personal discipleship and evangelism, Christian leadership, worldviews, church planting, language learning, missionary anthropology and first aid. Students work with local churches to receive training whenever possible. Phase two takes students out of the classroom and into carefully selected overseas countries, including Africa, Europe, Asia, the Pacific Rim, and Latin America, with the opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice.
“God wants to use you when you are in the program and when you get out,” Brawner said. “We’re not saying go get your degree or your master’s and then God will use you. We’re saying, ‘Let God use you now.’
“Here’s the unique thing about it. It is not necessarily for those who are called to vocational ministry. In fact, the exact opposite is true. We want students from all walks of life who are called to minister in whatever vocation God puts them in.”
Brawner sees the Great Commission as comprehensive, influencing every area of life. He wants to train students to think in a similar fashion.
“We are helping students develop an evangelistic DNA that is going to stay with them for a lifetime,” Brawner said. “So because of that DNA that we are placing into them, if they are called to the full-time pastorate or to be a full-time missionary, more power to them. But the reality is, God also wants believers to be effective in fields like bio-technology. We need kids who are going to be doctors in this cutting edge medical field who can talk sanely, who can talk with influence into the lives of folks who are working in that field. When it comes to gene-splicing and cloning, we want these believers there.
“So when a student comes to Fusion and has this evangelistic DNA really brought to the surface in his or her life, then when that young man or young lady goes off to (the university), they become an influencer right where they’re at,” Brawner said. “In fact, they become a catalyst for ministry wherever God plants them.”
Brawner listed other fields that he wants to see Christians involved in.
“Another example is politics or education,” Brawner said. “Where do we need more Christians? I’d love to see hundreds of teenagers coming out of this program who get their bachelors and go to be educators in the public school system—especially at the college level. I don’t meet that many believers in universities.”
Fusion isn’t for those who don’t want to be challenged to reach beyond themselves or for those who don’t intend to live out their training once they are through the program. Brawner is a former Army Ranger who served in Operation Desert Storm. He cited the sixth stanza of the Ranger Creed that he said was drilled into his head: “Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor.”
“There is no being a part-time Christian,” Brawner said. “I want students to be effective influencers wherever they are at. When a student graduates from Fusion, we have a way to catalog whether the student is doing what they were trained to do.”
Ashlie Watts is a Fusion graduate who greatly appreciates what the program did for her.
“The Lord used me in ways that were much higher, wider, deeper and longer than myself,” she said. “That’s how I know that the experiences I’ve gained have been from Him. Through this program, the Lord reiterated my desire for multiculturalism, especially in the black community, and my passion and desire to reach the lost through investing in relationships.”
Brawner has a strong challenge for Southern Baptist and evangelical parents of students who fall within the 18-24 age range.
“We have got to release a generation of students to ministry,” Brawner said. “If we do not release this generation to ministry, we will lose this generation.”
He knows that parents have concerns about the safety of their children as they travel overseas to carry out the second phase of their training. Fusion only sends students to countries that either have most-favored nation trading status or established military bases in their country.
With the passion of an Army Ranger, Brawner envisions a day when Fusion will expand all over the globe. He doesn’t view Fusion as just a Southern Baptist program, but he is adamant that the program stays rooted in sound theology no matter how far it spreads.
The program costs approximately $7,500. That includes tuition, travel, food, and lodging. Applications must be completed and returned to Fusion by Aug. 15 for students who wish to be part of the 2005-2006 program. To request an application or to find out more information about Fusion, visit www.fwinc.org.
While the MBC is currently financing Brawner’s salary, he doesn’t receive any other funds for the program other than donations. If you are interested in sending donations, you can send them to: Faithworks! Ministries, 3111 Wyandotte, Ste. 104, Kansas City MO 64111. Write “Fusion” in the memo section of your check