In a post a while back, I described an all-day 'dreaming' event we had at Fuller. As one of the presenters I listed four dreams I had for my school. In my blog, I listed the first and said the other three would come later. Here is one part of the later -- Dream #2 for my school.
How do we equip men and women for the manifold ministries of Christ and his church, when these communities have no physical church structure, their life is 24-7, where the church service is not the main focus and thus not the connecting point with those outside? How do we train in when the church-y stuff is gone?
We must train our students for church in the world – that the culture forms the ground from which they minister. How to do that? We would equip students with skills to connect their faith within cultures, teaching them both to exegete the powers and to transform them. This would include both an exclusion and an embrace of cultural elements. We would advocate a Jesus-like model as a way to live in contemporary culture.
To train these cultural prophets, our pedagogy must change. We must allow the students' questions to drive the execution of our content – same core material, but accessed in ways that help them serve as missionaries in their context. Each class is dynamic – the questions asked form a rubric for what is covered – the content, teacher, and students are in a dynamic conversation.
Professors must be aware of the ways in which their course material serves Christ-followers in their missionary endeavors. We would offer our resources in theology, in biblical studies, in historical research, in ethics and philosophy to serve their witness in contemporary culture.
We would equip our students not solely in linear ways, but as artists, as sources of creativity in the spiritually wired culture. These students would live as prophets in the midst of contradictions -- embracing God’s ways amongst the marginalized in cultures that favor the powerful. This is my dream...