Westmont Magazine A Man with a Mission
Rather than heading straight to college after graduating from high school, Blake Lawson ’98 did something that changed his life forever. He enrolled in Youth with a Mission’s (YWAM) Discipleship Training School and graduated with an emphasis in evangelism. The training included a two-month trip to Costa Rica.
“I now have YWAM DNA,” Blake says. “On a short-term mission, such intense teaching and bonding takes place that something special happens. It is a life-changing experience.”
YWAM recently honored Blake’s devotion to “seeing the world and its people transformed through the power of the Gospel” by appointing him to the Chancellor’s Council of the University of the Nations in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. At age 30, Blake is the youngest member of the group.
Twice yearly he joins 36 members from across the United States to provide oversight in the areas of academics, community life, staff development, communications and resources. Blake’s chief interest, however, lies in developing relationships among alumni throughout the world. YWAM has 35,000 missionaries and students on 630 campuses in 135 nations.
When Blake left his native Atlanta to attend Westmont, he took advantage of an unusual opportunity: to appear in a network television show created by a family friend. He was a cast member of “Saved by the Bell — The New Class” for NBC, taping shows during the summer of his freshman and sophomore years. “I enjoyed the process and made some great friendships,” he says.
As a junior, Blake interned with Coldwell Banker and learned the real estate business by assisting two of their largest producers. He passed the California real estate exam and worked as a full-time agent while completing his senior year, graduating with a degree in communication studies. He then worked for Coldwell Banker for several years before moving back to Atlanta, his hometown, and continuing his career as an agent with Harry Norman Realtors.
Through his job, Blake talks to more people in a month than most people do in a year. With that in mind, he firmly believes in using the skills he learned at YWAM and Westmont to help him reflect the love of Christ in each interaction.
“You walk out of graduation and you’re in missions, whether you have gone through YWAM training or not,” Blake says. “My life reflects my parents, my YWAM background and my Westmont education. I want the image of Christ to come through clearly.”
His biggest challenge has been to talk less and listen more; a skill he saw demonstrated at both YWAM and Westmont. His professors showed patience and compassion, which Blake wants to exemplify whether speaking to a friend about God or dealing with a frustrated client.
While busy with his full-time career, Blake makes time for what is important to him: his work with YWAM, attending the Greek Orthodox church and giving his time to the Atlanta Historical Society, the Atlanta Opera and the Atlanta High Museum of Art. He continues to be dedicated to seeking spiritual growth for himself and others. Whether “at a rocket’s pace or slowly,” he believes that is the right direction for him.