“The most awesome learning feat on the planet - a child’s acquisition of spoken language - occurs in the absence of any formal instruction.” -- George Leonard
“You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why continuing education is good.” – Bill Day
"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way." -- Mark Twain
“When [the Sanhedrin] saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” – Luke, commenting after the “educated men” quizzed the two disciples
“You could possibly consider that Peter’s and John’s ‘graduate school’ was their 3 years of walking with Jesus.” – Jeff Walling
“I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” -- Mark Twain
“[In graduate school] we all seek to integrate the best biblical scholarship with real ministry challenges because it takes more than good intentions to transform lives to the glory of God.” – Evertt Huffard
I’ve been putting off typing these thoughts…perhaps mostly due to fear that I am not objective about the subject (which I fully acknowledge that I am not)…but I desire to be known in this area and have the rich feedback that I oftentimes get from you.
I’m going to begin graduate school in the not-to-distant future. It’s an awesome privilege and opportunity to stretch and grow. But I am still struggling with the idea that it is the best use of my time. It’s definitely good use of my time, but I’m wondering if it is the best use of it.
Let me start with my fears…
I’m afraid of the demand it will be on my time (Evertt Huffard said to plan on 1 full day a week).
I’m afraid of it taking me away even more than I already am from ‘people work’.
I’m afraid of really loving it and wanting to dive into it more than into people.
I’m afraid of the new relationships I would forge through it replacing the ones I need to continue to invest in locally.
I’m afraid of the discipline it would take.
I’m afraid of losing my status as “unqualified, but chosen” in the eyes of man (see Luke’s quote above).
I’m afraid of being seen as a typical preacher-type.
I’m afraid of disappointing people due to my increasing inaccessibility.
I’m afraid of the frustration that will come inside the inevitable tension between “needing to study” and “needing to be with people”.
Let me go on to my excitement…
I’m excited about the demand on my time, giving me a more tangible, explainable excuse for why I’m inaccessible to people.
I’m excited about learning more, and learning more about how to learn more.
I’m excited about the new relationships I would forge through it.
I’m excited about the discipline it would demand of me.
I’m excited about how it would help me be a better preacher.
I’m excited about learning what I don’t know about it that I should be excited about.
As I re-read this, noticeably missing from my list above is any fear or excitement concerning my family. It’s because I’m just totally clear about the priority of my family above all else. I’m willing to live and die for my family, so of course I’m willing to fail graduate classes for my family, as well as lose my ‘job’ for my family. As long as I stay true to that, graduate school does not benefit or hurt my family in any significant way. So I have no fear, nor excitement, in this decision concerning them. This struggle, for me, only affects my “working hours,” so to speak.
Ultimately, all my fears and excitement aside, I guess the question that I’m looking to answer is this:
Will there be a significant improvement in my effectively winning the lost to Christ by going to graduate school?
Tough question to answer. I’m open to suggestions (even guesses) on how to attempt an answer.