Shifting Our Thinking on Education and Jesus’ Mission

What I’m about to say is not in any way hating on seminary education, college education or any education at all. I have an Mdiv and loved every second of it. I have the doctoral itch. However, if I were 26 again, I’d be thinking a bit differently.

When I was coming up in the ministry the understanding was that if you were going to do work in the church or the world as a “great commission specialist” you needed seminary.

Seminary is great, however, it also limit’s your job potential.

The world has changed. Nothing is closed off to the influence of Christian people. Economics, politics, law, education etc. have all become global affairs. Christians used to think in terms of the “called” going and the rest funding their going.

What if we are all called? What if calling looks less like signing up to go be funded to do great commission work because you saw the need, wanted to go and had enjoyed a holy encounter that affirmed your desire and rather looks like specializing in one’s skill set and taking that job skill global while being paid to do it because we are all to be doing just that?

This is the essence of Bob Robert’s book “Glocalization”. Bob is a spiritual father to me. Bob taught me and other dudes this stuff before if was en vogue, and believe me it’s on the horizon as the next wave of thinking regarding the Great Commission.

I tell students to 1) determine what their created gifting is 2) then determine how they need to refine that gifting whether college, tech school, working or apprenticing 3) then think about where they can apply that skill globally as an employee or employer 4) then take that domain back from the kingdom of darkness through the good news of the kingdom and pray for the kingdom to come and Father’s will to be done there as it is in heaven 5) and make disciples and plant churches.

This is the future of the church in doing great commission work. Christian schools (primary, secondary and colleges), churches, etc. better start figuring this out and making training affordable and not handicapping it’s students with frills on campus rather than actual training in engaging domains.

Parents and students better start asking the right questions. The question is not “where do I want to go to college?” The questions are “what is my gifting?”, “where can I fully and efficiently train my gifting?”, and “where can I begin to engage my domain for Jesus’ kingdom?”. Too many kids are getting strapped with debt with a worthless degree that over-educates them and under qualifies them. Too many kids are spending money simply because they have it rather than choosing the best fit to hone their gifting for kingdom purposes. More is not necessarily better or even right.

My wife, a guidance counselor, has been beating this drum for a couple of years and catches more crap from “Christians” for thinking efficiently and “Christianly” about engaging domains with the gospel than she ought to. It’s time for Christians to shift their thinking. Stop assuming (you know what happens when we assume).

Dear Christian, think about engaging domains not about sending the professionals. We may just multiply the Great Commission sending and do it more cost effectively.

Go read “Glocalization” by Bob Roberts, Jr. Bob said, as of Monday, there are not many left. It is published by Zondervan.


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