Thursday, October 27, 2011

Student Surgeons or Student Researchers?

Jasper Speaks:

Much has been said and written about living life on mission. Searching the all knowing website, Wikipedia, I found this definition of "Missional Living":

Christian term that describes a missionary lifestyle; adopting the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message.

The more I think about this in student ministry, I think about a doctor's training. As they go through the process they learn in detail about everything regarding the human body and how it functions. When it is done some become doctors who get their hands dirty in the lives of patients as surgeons and their hard work saves their lives. Others go into research. They continue to know a lot about things but never really use their knowledge to heal. I want my students to be surgeons not researchers. I think the American church is full of researchers who may even have the best intentions as they go to church every Sunday and learn. I want my students to get their hands dirty in the lives of people God has put around them. I think a continued emphasis on living life on mission helps point them toward that

I am not saying that research isn't important. I believe that research can enable us to change the world. However, as I  shepherd the flock of students with whom God has entrusted me, I want to develop students who take their research and use it in practical ways. I want surgeons, not researchers.

Here is a great video overview of the concepts of a missional church. it is pretty basic but if you don't know about or don't understand the foundational truths of the missional church movement, this should help:

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