THE NEED, USE AND VALUE OF A CHRISTIAN EDUCATION – 1 Tim 6:20 – “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:”
The greatest need in Christian education is the priority of staying. Titus 1:5 – “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:”
Paul gives the “cause,” the “need” for an education. The need in Crete was someone needed to “set in order the things that are wanting,” simply to get the elders ordained and to order things God’s way. One failure in the ministry is to get someone dedicated to life time of work rather than serving a year or two and leaving. Another need is to extend our education: Encourage them to go beyond the Bachelor’s to a Masters or Doctorate.
I believe a ministry is built around an individual. When that “elder” or whomever stays long enough to build that ministry, the Church will assume their personality and activate his program. A ministry is a lifetime mandate. It takes years to “mature” an organization and we have many immature pastors and spiritual leaders who will not stay put. A great man once said, “Young men, chart your own course. Don’t worry about what every other preacher is doing, you do what God called you do.”
I believe a ministry is bolstered by an influential leader. Every ministry will have opposition and the Church “needs” leaders who will stand against opposition. Someone has to break the cycle and stay. A leader should never resign without a place to go to continue making a difference. Where are the heroes of the faith? Many are more afraid of losing a salary than listening to a Savior. I hear many say, “But they’ll starve me out” – Spurgeon said, “I’d rather be a LEAN CAT in the woods than a FAT CAT in a cage.”
The “need” of an education is to have the ammunition to stand. The reason there is so much SIN IN THE PEW is because there is too much SILENCE IN THE PULPIT. A compromising preacher said to a fashionable congregation: “Brethren, unless you repent, in a measure, and be converted, as it were, you will regret to say, be damned to some extent.” God save us from that kind of preaching! The same principle applies to influencers in all areas of spiritual education. Taking a stand on principles and communicating those in a clear, concise manner is much needed.
The greatest use of education is to have authority. 2 Tim. 2:15 – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Elijah knew when to “Hide thyself” and when to “Shew thyself.” Nothing intimidates the enemy as an educated person who speaks with authority.
“Shew” is knowing your subject. Paul was telling Timothy, “There are some things to ‘keep’ and some things to ‘avoid.’ There are some things worth ‘fighting for,’ and some things that are not worth ‘fighting for.’ It is like fighting a skunk! Is the kill worth the stink? It is like fighting a snake! When it’s dead, who wants it?
Ignorant preaching and teaching accomplishes nothing. A young preacher preached on “The Willies of the Devil.” His text was Eph. 6:11 – “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Robert Owen should cause us all to bow our heads in shame. He said, “Would I come to church twice on Sundays to hear myself preach?”
The greatest value of education is to have Honorable Leaders in the ministries of America. Paul knew the value of honor when he told the Church at Thessalonica in 1 Thess. 4:4 – “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour…”
The greatest value of an Honorable Leader or Influencer is the Honor of Sacrifice. Phil. 2:17 – “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” Literally meaning to pour one’s life as a drink offering until nothing is left.
Think of the value of Paul’s life. He was an educated man who had heard the “Macedonian Call” and on that one mission trip walked over 1500 miles. The value of an education is give it out until there is nothing left. There is no “retirement” for an educated man or woman. Some of the greatest Revivalist were men like Charles Finney and Jonathan Edwards, whose lives were defined by unending service. We should never sit on our laurels but burn ourselves out for God.
Dr. Ronnie Simpson
Founder and President
Macedonia Baptist College