Scott Dawson believes servant leadership is essential to spreading the gospel and healing society, and he highlighted famed musician Kanye West’s spiritual growth as one example of where that leadership can make a difference.
Dawson, founder and CEO of the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association, spoke on these topics and many others when he sat down recently with Matt Wilson on his “Living Life on Purpose” podcast.
As a former candidate for governor in Alabama, confronting the issues facing society and the nation is familiar ground for him.
When asked by Wilson what he viewed as the greatest challenge facing the country, Dawson was unequivocal in his response.
“Pride,” he stated.
He remarked that pride includes both arrogance and false humility.
“I sense that with all of us, including me,” Dawson said. “I’m speaking to you going, ‘this is my struggle’ because if we could understand how powerful the principle is to humble yourself before the Lord, things can happen.”
He cited Proverbs 16:18, which says, “Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
“That’s the reason why I say it’s the greatest problem of our country because when we are so proud that we are not listening to anyone else’s counsel, we’re bent on doing it our own way, then we’re up to be left to our own destruction,” said Dawson. “And that’s what needs to take place in the country.”
He believes it will take Christ-centered leadership to overcome these problems.
“Leadership begins at the feet of Jesus,” he stated. “We have got to be servant leaders. We have got to exemplify that in our own lives. People say there’s one life in the church, one life outside the church. There needs to be just one life. Jesus is not what I do, He is who I am. Do I still have those struggles? Yes. But every day, I’m in a relationship with Him. I’m being molded into his image. John the Baptist said, ‘He must increase and I must decrease.’ That happens in that life transformation that we’re walking through. I’m not acting like I used to act. And, hopefully, in five years I’m not acting then like I’m acting now because I’m growing in that relationship.”
Having established his ministry in 1987, Dawson described his calling as an evangelist as “an exciting adventure” as he continues seeking ways to answer the question of “how can I present the gospel in unique situations?”
One of those unique situations is with 21-time Grammy Award winner Kanye West.
West, whose album Jesus is King was released late last year, is set to participate in Dawson’s Strength to Stand conference. The event is taking place in Pigeon Ford, Tennessee, on January 18 through 20.
“Kanye has had this conversion experience and most people are talking about, ‘Well, is it genuine, is it genuine?’” Dawson explained. “I’m reminded that those are the same questions they had about Saul. Saul turned out to be the greatest missionary we’ve ever seen. Now, most people know him as Paul, but in the New Testament he was Saul of Tarsus.”
Dawson sees the spiritual walk for someone like West as a leadership opportunity for other believers.
“Even people that are cynics toward Kanye, they cannot get over the fact that his entire countenance has changed,” he said. “Something has taken place in his life. So us as leaders, let’s exemplify it. Let’s be quick to meet people where they are. Scripture does say very pointedly, ‘Without vision, the people perish.’ We’ve got to have some leaders around here that can see further down the road than past the end of their nose and say, ‘This is where we need to go.’ People don’t mind following a leader if they trust him or her and they believe that he or she has vision for the future.”
West’s growth as a Christian is something to which Dawson has paid close attention.
“His pastor, a young man from southern California, he’ll tell you,” he noted. “Kanye to his own admission, he’s a better husband, he’s a better father, he’s a better son because of what Christ has done in, and what he’s doing through, his life.”
And it has left quite an impression on Dawson.
“Jesus says ‘I have come that you have life and that you have it more abundantly’ and what I see coming out of Kanye right now is pure life,” he concluded.
Listen to the entire episode of Living Life on Purpose to hear Scott Dawson explain how he became an evangelist, how he handles life’s pressures, who he works to compare himself to in his ministry and much more.
For more stories of how people have lived their lives with a purpose, listen and subscribe to Living Life on Purpose with Matt Wilson on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify and Google Play. Matt’s guests include Andy Andrews, UAB head football coach Bill Clark, Congressman Gary Palmer and many others.