February 12, 2014
Brandon Hatmaker delivered the Focus Week chapel message to OBU on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Hatmaker read from Isaiah 1, charging the students, faculty and staff with how to serve those in need around us.
“If we end up doing it the wrong way and for the wrong reasons it loses its power and it becomes about us,” Hatmaker said. He recalled learning to serve others through his personal journey and the things God has taught him about serving the poor. Hatmaker is on campus this week for Focus Week, an annual week focused on strengthening relationships with God and one another.
Hatmaker said that when we serve those in need, we shouldn’t do it for ourselves. He also challenged the audience to settle their gospel theology and develop a greater love for mercy. He likewise spoke of the need to develop a greater understanding of Biblical justice and to show true compassion to others. He also shared that as Christians, we are to find needs around us, expose those needs and then engage the need by doing something about it.
Hatmaker graduated from OBU in 1995. He and his wife Jennifer planted a church in Austin, Texas, called Austin New Church (ANC) in 2007 –- a church geared toward serving the poor and marginalized within the city. He is a co-founder of Restore Communities, an organization that creates local and overseas partnerships to serve those in poverty and meet local humanitarian needs; missional strategist for Missio, a service organization that exists to create incarnational community everywhere; and author of “Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture.”
Hatmaker and his wife Jennifer were the 2013 recipients of the OBU Alumni Association’s Profile In Excellence Award. The award is given to a former student who has “demonstrated recognizable accomplishment in his or her profession, business, avocation, or life service in such a way as to bring pride and honor to the University.” Each year, Profile In Excellence recipients are selected, and each is featured in an article in OBU Magazine.
Through their busy schedules, Brandon and Jen enjoy spending time with their five children: Gavin, Sydney Beth, Caleb, Ben and Remy.