A recent survey by pollster George Barna found that only 4% of the American population say they held to a Biblical worldview and more tragically only 9% of born-again Christians said they held to a Biblical worldview. Mr. Barna then suggested that many of our nation's recent moral and spiritual challenges are directly attributable to this fact.
Mr. Barna also went on to say, "If Jesus Christ came to this planet as a model of how we ought to live, then our goal should be to act like Jesus. Sadly, few people consistently demonstrate the love, obedience and priorities of Jesus. The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because we do not think like Jesus. Behavior stems from what we think – our attitudes, beliefs, values and opinions.”
Dave Ludwig, the founder of Quest Ministries, I believe is an exception to this trend in American Christianity. He has, over the years, developed a reputation for taking Scripture at face value. This has impacted my life dramatically and I want you to get a glimpse of how God can use him and Quest Ministries to impact your life too. By introducing you to Quest I’d like to illustrate how God has brought Dave to this present moment.
Dave was born in Orange County, California and as a young boy had the privilege of watching his father become a first generation Christian. His father was a natural researcher and Bible studier and still is today. From a very young age Dave was challenged to personally and independently evaluate the truth claims of the Bible teaching he was being exposed to. It paid off and led him into apologetics and eventually to Christ in his late high school years.
In his early college years God saw fit to expose Dave to a church split. He recounts a congregational meeting, just prior to the split, where a former leader in the church of about 250 dismissed the teachings of the Bible regarding leadership and said, “No, I’m not in agreement with this, because that’s the way it has always been, and it's not going to change now”. This statement, from a leader that he respected, profoundly affected Dave. He is resolved never to allow those words to flow off his lips.
During that same time Dave had the privilege of being discipled for almost 2 years by a friend and seminary professor. Interestingly, that professor focused on Biblical hermeneutics (the science and art of Biblical interpretation). God used all these events and many others to develop in Dave a heart for discovering the truth straight out of the “instruction manual” and the willingness to think independently from many in the Christian community.
After observing the devastation of a church split during his college years, Dave moved out to the Antelope Valley and took a job with Southern California Gas. A few months later he stepped into a church staff position focusing on Christian education, leadership development and church renewal principles. During the almost 12 years that he served on a church staff, his focus on making disciples lead him to the development of materials to help others do the same. He was also part of bringing many college age people to Christ. All these experiences formed in Dave the convictions that are foundational to the impact that Quest Ministries is having today in our community. In particular the principles of “Servant Leadership” and “the Priesthood of every Believer” are mobilizing believers to action and ministry throughout the Antelope Valley.
After leaving the church Dave remained committed to his love of disciple-making and one-on-one sharing of the gospel. This led to the formation of four house churches. He recalls with great fondness those years of shepherding and discipleship. As his heart for evangelism and discipleship grew, he eventually joined Search Ministries, a national evangelistic ministry headquartered in Maryland. Three years later they assisted him in establishing Quest Ministries, Inc.—right here in southern California.
I share all this background to make one point…we must choose to think Biblically and to build our lives and our ministries on what God says. The foundation of all we do must flow from what God says rather than from tradition or the opinions of men. I believe that Quest Ministries is unique in that it calls us back to the foundational principles found in Scripture. The principle of the priesthood of every believer is amazing and in my opinion often ignored in the church today. This approach to ministry that has led to many changing their personal world view and empowering them to become involved in discipleship, evangelism, and true servant leadership.