Justin Narducci has been a longtime friend of mine. We have traveled through many different seasons of life together. Justin has a unique insight into the Kingdom of God and I love being challenged by his perspective and dedication. Justin started at Boeing and later worked for Life in Abundance where he saw how he can encourage the American church into action for the world. He now serves as the CEO of Lifewater, an organization designed to “provide water, health, and hope.”
Tell us something odd/unique about you.
I have a fake nose that came as a result of an unfortunate golf-related accident in junior high. Yeah, there’s a story there…
How has the experience of leading a nonprofit affected your view of the role of the Church?
I love the Church. I’m especially proud of the Church when she looks like Jesus – reaching out and serving with humility and justice. I’m seeing this happening more and more and it is encouraging.
Do you think people are born leaders or develop into leaders?
Not sure. Probably some element of both.
How can people put themselves into a position to influence culture?
This is a weird question that I’ve actually never thought about. As Christians, I think a little humility in our discourse would go a long way. Perhaps, we should also try to stop trying to influence culture? I’m not sure it is working too well for our witness J
Why are you a follower of Jesus Christ?
I read the gospel and am really attracted to Jesus of Nazareth. In high school, I decided to be a disciple of his and my life is dramatically different – for the better.
What do you do personally to fuel your spiritual life?
The first thing that comes to mind is prayer. I try to start every day with 30 minutes of silence and solitude to pray and listen to God. I learned to be less ‘productive spiritually’ and to be more quiet before God through working with Africans over the past 5 years. I’m also trying to read through the Bible. I started last year and am in March 1, 2013 (not a typo) – so that’s going well!
What is your hope for the future of the Church in America?
That we bless others with the tremendous resources that we have at our disposal. The wealth of America is tremendous and we have the responsibility to steward that wealth well – we can build bigger churches or we can choose to bless others with the resources we have. At some point, those two decisions are in conflict and I hope we choose the latter. My particular passion is for the Church (global) to end our world’s water and sanitation crisis. This will take all of us working together to serve people who have no benefit to us.
Should we abandon the use of the word “Christian” for a better term? If so, what?
This is tricky. We face this as a faith-based organization because every word that we have to describe ‘Jesus-followers’ is loaded. If you say Christian, some people only picture the religious right or Fox News or something like that. I don’t know if we should abandon it as much as we should redeem it with our behavior!
What blogs/websites do you regularly check?
TomorrowsReflection (of course)
Al Jazeera News (it’s not what you think it is)
Harvard Business Review
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Which books have shaped your thinking?
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. Probably my favorite book of all time and I worked through it over a year with some really great guys that helped me process the Kingdom of God at a very influential time in my life.
Walking with the Poor by Bryant Myers. Excellent work on cross-culture ministry to vulnerable people and communities.
What music moves you?
I’m pretty generic musically. Right now, I’ve been listening to the Braveheart station I created on Pandora. I also really like Hillsong and Jimmy Eat World.
Any other thoughts or advice?
Yeah – just one random thought: travel outside of the United States. Having done so extensively over the last ten years, I have a greater appreciation for the real challenges that people face outside of our borders. The Church will be strengthened when we realize that our reality is an anomaly compared with the daily struggles that many of our brothers and sisters experience across the world.
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