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Nick Hall S’11 Appointed Leader of National Evangelical Leaders

Nick Hall S’11, founder and chief communicator of the PULSE movement, was recently named president and CEO of the Mission America Coalition. (Photo Credit: Provided by PULSE)

“They want to empower a younger generation to carry on with the Gospel,” millennial Nick Hall S’11 says of the national leaders who recently named him president and CEO of the Mission America Coalition (MAC). While Hall understands the importance of “passing the baton,” he says the opportunity didn’t come without surprise. “But after [I] got over the shock…it just really seemed like divine timing and opportunity,” Hall says.

The Mission America Coalition is an alliance of national church leaders, denominations, ministry organizations/networks, and other collaborators. It has the highest level of evangelical involvement in the United States. The MAC grew out of The Lausanne Covenant—a statement of beliefs agreed upon at the 1974 International Congress for World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, assembled by Billy Graham. Since then, the Lausanne movement has continued to make a global difference, but after the initial well-received concession American leaders united to promote evangelism specifically within their home country, forming what is now the MAC. Billy Graham is an honorary cochairman.

Hall, the founder and chief communicator of student-led evangelism movement PULSE, has had connections to the MAC since 2010 and served as a board member for the past five years. Last year, the MAC was very involved with Together 2016—the enormous Washington, D.C. evangelical gathering organized by PULSE. With strong ties and missional alignment, Hall says continued partnership between PULSE and the MAC under his leadership will be natural.

“[PULSE and the MAC] have different teams, different boards, and are very much run independently of each other, but I would say they very much compliment one another,” Hall says. It’s one of the reasons Hall is confident in his ability to lead both. The other? “I really believe in the power of teams and bringing on leaders with different skill sets.” That’s why at PULSE, Hall hired a president who’s in charge of operation and strategy and an executive vice president who oversees the movement’s ministry. Both will be involved with the MAC, but Hall hopes to bring on additional MAC team members who will function in similar roles so he can focus on casting vision.

Bethel Campus Pastor Laurel Bunker, who has been a board member at PULSE for the past two years, has firsthand knowledge of Hall’s team-oriented approach to leadership. Her experience validates Hall’s vision for the future of both organizations. “Nick is incredibly humble and willing to listen and take advice on how to ensure PULSE is a ministry that can reach every culture,” she says. “He places himself in a position to learn and glean from others rather than seeing himself as someone above others.”

Hall showed his dedication to lifelong learning and continual growth by pursing his M.A. in Christian Thought at Bethel Seminary. Here, he focused on gaining a solid theological understanding of the Bible and took additional leadership classes to support his ministry goals. “[My Bethel education] was super relevant to what I’ve done and what I’m doing,” Hall says. “But I would probably say above all…learning new ways to think, learning new ways to process, discussions with professors and classmates, the disciplines and the muscles that you’re exercising—those are lifelong skills.”  

Seminary Professor Mark McCloskey says this posture perfectly exemplifies the value of a Bethel Seminary education. “It’s about developing the kind of character required to engage in such a challenging enterprise [as evangelism],” he says. “Nick is a great example of our Three Centers approach to seminary education. What he’s doing requires a solid biblical foundation, a transformed heart, and an application of the best in leadership theory and practice.”

But for Hall, success is about more than proper preparation. “If my faith doesn’t relate to everything, then my faith really doesn’t relate to anything,” he says. “And I think the next generation especially has a multifaceted view of the kingdom. So [as a leader with the MAC], a big priority for me is…bringing in and celebrating diversity in the movement.” This is just one of the ways Hall hopes to build off the legacy of leaders Billy Graham, John Perkins, and Vonette Bright—who inspired the MAC—and create a new revival for the church. “We’re praying God would do it again in our day,” he says.

Paul Cedar, who has served as the CEO of the MAC for 21 years, believes God will answer that prayer. “We believe that the vision God has been giving to Nick is very strategic and significant in reaching the younger generations with the Gospel,” he says. “We are very open to significant changes and modifications taking place in our MAC ministries in the days ahead.” Though Hall will formally succeed Cedar in October, Cedar will continue his involvement with the MAC as an ambassador. “I’ll definitely be looking to him for advice,” Hall says, adding that he hopes one day others will say he was as faithful in his leadership as those who came before.  

So far, he’s living up to the challenge. “Hall has a special anointing of God,” says Bethel President Jay Barnes. “He has a passion for reaching lost people, a gift to communicate, a heart for millennials, and a determination to make things happen. He is a visionary who brings great people around him to turn vision into action. We rejoice in how God is using him and look forward to how his gifting will be used in leading the Mission America Coalition.”

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