It was a Saturday afternoon in Dallas, TX when I realized I was a bit different. Okay, I already knew I was different so maybe the word I am looking for is unique. Christy, my wife, and I were spending the afternoon with good friends and I mentioned that I really enjoy curriculum development. Christy and I were preparing for a summer missions trip to Ukraine to teach English as a Foreign Language as part of my seminary internship. I was revising the curriculum that our mission had used for a few years and I was telling our friends how much I enjoyed crafting the lesson plans. It was then he and his wife laughed at me and said that I was the first person they knew of who actually enjoyed curriculum development and lesson planning. It was then I realized that not everyone thought the same way I did about curriculum development and lesson planning. I did and still do enjoy curriculum development, crafting a learning event in order to help people learn, grow and be changed by new information or understand old information in a different way.
I realize now that my love for curriculum design was a short step (and a long time in-between) thinking about how to structure a Bible Academy in ways that would really help men and women know God and His word well, feel deeply about what God feels deeply about and be trained to live wisely and bring others along in the same process.
In a few days I will hop a plane for the European Evangelical Accrediting Association’s (EEAA) bi-anual general assembly. Alistar McGrath is the main speaker and the theme was “Challenging a Vision of Theological Education – A Challenging Vision“. Needless to say I was excited. I have read a few of McGrath’s books and was eager to hear what he had to say about theological education. After I reflect on his talks I might post some of the relevant points for us here in Austria.
As I lead the accrediting efforts for the Evangelical Academy I have a conviction about accrediting organizations. The Evangelical Academy is ours, those who live in Austria and work in Austria and train others in Austria. We want to do what we say we do which is Equip Christians with a Bibilically rooted, theological education for ministry and leadership roles. In order to accomplish this we need some help and we are inviting the EEAA to provide some help and I believe they are doing just that.
The way I see it, my uniqueness, my different-ness, in my love for curriculum and school development, is ultimately being used to help the Austrian church become better equipped to reach everyone they can and teach everyone they reach (Matthew 28:18-20). And if that happens I am glad I am different.