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Dr. John Upton reminds Campbellsville University of a Christian’s calling

Sept. 14, 2016

For Immediate Release

dr. john upton
Dr. John Upton urges Campbellsville University students, faculty, staff and coaches to find their “Christian calling” at chapel. (Campbellsville University Photo by Brooklyn Kassinger)

By Josh Christian, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.- Convocation at Campbellsville University is a time for students and faculty to take a break from their busy schedules, and for just one hour, be led in a worship service.

“A Call to Love, A Call to Serve,” derived from the scripture 1 Peter 4:10 in the Holy Bible, is considered the theme for this year’s convocation series and serves as a weekly reminder to students and faculty that every Christian is called to love and serve.

“It sounds like a nice and benign theme,” Dr. John Upton, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia, said at Ransdell Chapel at a recent convocation service.

“There is not a thing benign about it,” Upton said. “Don’t you dare take it lightly.”

Upton shared the parable of the talents; a parable about three slaves left with money by their master as the master goes on a journey. The first two slaves invest their money and double it. The third slave buries the money he is given, and upon the master’s return, shows him he has done nothing with it.

The master responds angrily, calling him a “wicked and lazy servant” and casts the servant out.

Yet, the two other servants who made good on the money given to them are congratulated by the master. “Well done good and faithful servants! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

“Do you think Jesus might have had an attitude about this thing?” Upton said.

Upton explained why Jesus was so stern with the servant who had one talent, in the parable.

Asking which servant those in attendance identified with, Upton said that he most identified with the “one talent kind of person.”

“I am just an ordinary guy,” Upton said.

“Jesus knew we ordinary people could convince ourselves we wouldn’t make a difference in the world. Jesus is trying to tell you that this is farthest from the truth,” Upton said.

“Jesus is telling us that He is still in the business of taking small people and making us big,” Upton said.

“Ordinary lives like ours are turned into the light of the world,” Upton said.

“When we bury our talents, we bury His (Jesus’) love,” Upton said.

“You are rich. You are blessed,” Upton said. “God did not give you your life to play it safe. He wants you to invest it back in the world.”

“You are called to love. You are called to serve,” Upton said.

Drew O’Neal, Campbellsville University senior, opened the service in worship.

Dr. Lisa McArthur, professor of music at Campbellsville University, along with the Campbellsville University flute ensemble, led special music in the middle of the service.

Austin Stillwell, Campbellsville University junior, opened the service with prayer.

Campbellsville University is widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is