I had a vision.
A vision of our people turning toward the Messiah in unprecedented numbers.
A vision of thousands of messianic congregations spreading across the world.
A vision of a thriving messianic seminary where our young people can be trained to go forth with boldness, wisdom, and compassion.
A vision where we, as messianic Jews and a united movement, stand side by side with our Jewish brothers and sisters and work toward a messianic age of peace and harmony for both Jews and Gentiles.
I began my message this way for the Shabbat morning service at the Annual UMJC conference almost 10 years ago. A lot has changed, yet my vision remains the same.
Currently, I am focused on working toward my third vision statement: “A vision of a thriving messianic seminary where our young people can be trained to go forth with boldness, wisdom, and compassion.”
I serve as CEO of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, which is the leading institution of higher education of Messianic Judaism. Messianic Judaism must raise up a thriving educational institution faithful to its principles or it faces potential decline. Without an educational center for Messianic Judaism, the following will be difficult, if not impossible to do.
1. Train a new generation of rabbi and leaders for synagogues and Messianic Jewish institutions.
2. Provide an authentic engagement with Judaism that is theologically aware and sensitive to halakhic process.
3. Guide the Messianic Jewish community in specific areas of thought and practice, such as informed engagement with Christianity, development of Messianic Jewish theology, and a distinct Messianic Jewish approach to Biblical studies, hermeneutics, canonical narrative, and missiology.
[MJTI faculty are some of the thought leaders in this area. Also, MJTI provides leadership forums for Messianic Jewish leaders in the US and Israel to explore these issues.]
4. Offer a context that encourages and focuses on life-long learning and spiritual development.
More could be said, yet I encourage you to further explore a vision for Messianic Judaism in my article in Kesher called “The Way of Life” at http://www.kesherjournal.com/Issue-16/The-Way-of-Life and also visit www.mjti.org for our new website for MJTI School of Jewish Studies.