Education and the Mission of God

When we (the Main’s) lived in Sunland, we had a fruit tree in the corner of our backyard that was barren. So when the church we were a part of at that time made the decision to do a total makeover of the yard, two men took it upon themselves to dig that tree out from its roots so we could have more room for the kids to play. From early morning until late afternoon they labored and sweat to remove this long-standing fixture. And finally, at the end of the day, they were able to complete the task. (And amazingly, they are still my friends to this very day.)

From time-to-time I think about that crazy tree as I do the work of pastoral ministry. There are times when I feel like I’m digging at the roots of long-standing traditions and structures – traditions and structures that likely started with good intentions and bore fruit but are now deeply entrenched and do not move easily. So the work is difficult and change does not come easy. But it’s worth the effort, because it is the Lord who is the one who is bringing forth the fruit from the work.

The analogy of the tree may not be perfect, but I do think it is applicable to the topic of education in our modern culture and context. Our educational system is so deeply rooted into the existence and consciousness of our society that to rethink it or reform it is not something comes easy. It is so deeply rooted that most of us just go along with it, not asking whether it is fruitful, beneficial, and most importantly – pleasing to the Lord.

If this past Sunday is any indicator, when someone comes along and asks these questions, it will provoke a response – a fairly widely contrasting response at that.

If you were not with us this past Sunday morning, we had Josh Walker and Spencer MacCuish from Eternity Bible College with us. The two men discussed how the Mission of God relates to and reshapes how we think about education. While the subject can apply to any part of the educational process, their particular emphasis was on higher education at the collegiate level. It was admittedly a different kind of service, and it has sparked quite a bit of discussion amongst many of you.

Luis and I had planned on following-up with some blogs about how to think through and apply some of the things that Josh and Spencer were going to discuss. We knew they were not going to be able to cover everything in one message – or even scratch the surface for that matter. But many of your responses have allowed us to focus our attention on more specific matters. Here are a few of the items we hope to cover:

  • Is the Sunday morning setting the correct format for a discussion like this?
  • What about the fact that they did not even open their Bibles?
  • Was this just an advertisement for Eternity Bible College?
  • So are you saying we should never pursue a liberal arts degree from a secular college?
  • So are you saying we should never go into debt to obtain a degree from a college?
  • How does all of this affect our decision-making process about college?

The list could go on. In a series of blogs to follow, we hope to answer some of the questions. Our desire is for these blogs to create a dialogue and discussion with you.

This blog is simply to invite you into the discussion. We welcome your interaction and feedback. So ask more questions. Give us your insights. Let’s talk this subject through, because we believe it’s that important. The roots of satanic secular thinking run deep in the American educational system; we are not content to simply accept things as they are without really thinking through how God would have us interact with and respond to them.

As we discuss this, whether it be face-to-face or through the blog format, let’s make sure we keep one question at the forefront of our thinking: How does the Mission of God reshape and reform the way we think about education. If this is not the guiding question we are seeking to answer, then this whole discussion simply becomes a series of opinions that can lead us down the road to nowhere.

We look forward to your interaction.

For the advancement of our Lord’s kingdom and glory,

Doug