For the last thirty years Ray Blunt describes his primary focus as helping to grow the next generation of servant leaders. He has served as an Associate Professor in Leadership at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, teaching in a DMin program, and consulted on leadership development and organizational culture to dozens of organizations. He served in public service as a senior leader with a focus on strategic planning, human capital, and organizational effectiveness. Long ago, he was in one of the first classes to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy and went on to achieve master’s degrees in comparative economics and theology. Today he teaches high school juniors and seniors philosophy, sociology, and theology at Ad Fontes Academy, a classical Christian school in Centreville, VA, where he has taught four of his grandchildren.
He has written extensively on leadership, organizational culture, and character. His first book was Crossed Lives, Crossed Purposes: Why Thomas Jefferson Failed and William Wilberforce Persisted in Leading an End to Slavery, (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2013) and he contributed a chapter to The Jossey-Bass Reader on Non Profit and Public Leadership, James L. Perry, ed., “How Leaders Are Grown,” (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010).
Ray and his wife, B.J., have been married for over 50 years. They attend Restoration Anglican Church where they have mentored more than 20 young couples before and after marriage.
Connect with Ray at: https://elderatthegate.com
Elders at the Gate
The young need anchoring in adult connections; their elders need purpose in their last lap. Together they can restore the broken links of the design for a full, meaningful life.
We sense that something important is broken. The younger among us are disconnected in an over-connected world; often lonely, slow to mature, and anxious. They seek safety while abandoning the comfort of faith. Their elders have long, healthy years ahead, but toward what end? Retirement as a time to indulge a desire to travel, or to spend their days in leisure can come to seem purposeless. Together neither have re-discovered the wisdom meant for a full life and the mission that has been built into the last phase, both of which arise from God’s good design for the generations. This way of life has all but been obscured in the search for individual happiness.
Herein, today’s elders at the gate are given the vision, encouragement, and understanding for how they can become the mentors they are designed to be, beginning to help repair the broken links between the generations and committing their lives to bringing maturity and meaning to those who follow.
If all generations thought about how they could connect with other generations, we all may be better off.