Students, administrators, faculty and staff got a look at God’s upside-down version of reality at the Fresno Pacific University Spring Convocation February 19, 2020, in the Special Events Center on the main Fresno Pacific University campus.

“God wants us…desperate,” said guest speaker Tara Beth Leach, senior pastor at First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena and a regular writer for Missio Alliance. She is the author of the InterVarsity Press book, Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry and has contributed to publications such as Christianity Today and Christian Week.

Leach contrasted the “self-help success” call of American society—and sometimes the American church—for people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps with Jesus’ invitation to people on the margins, in life and in church. “We are in a culture where is you can dream it you can do it. Blessing is so often based on our external circumstances,” she said.

“When Jesus sets his table, he pulls up chairs for the poor, the hungry, the weak, the persecuted,” she said. “They don’t have enough power and they know it and they are desperate for God.”


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations