This past week, it was my honor to teach at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. My class was “The Theology and Development of Leadership,” a class for four students working on their Doctor of Ministry degree. They included a former pastor on deputation to be a missionary in Peru, a Korean seminarian burdened to be a missionary to Japan, a pastor in a small city in Michigan, and a former camp director serving in a discipleship role at BJU. All of them, Lord willing, will indeed take what they received this week and use it in their ministries. They had to read about 1,500 pages leading up to our class, and they still have papers to write, which I will read and grade in time.
Getting us together was a technological feat. We had two large-screen TVs at the ends of my eight-person table. One connected to my computer to share my screen as necessary, and the other “Zoomed” two of our students in via video from Michigan and Indiana. The other two were in the room with me, and all three of us were “Zooming” back to them with a camera of our own.
Monday was a half-day of lecture, three full days the next, and Friday was only three hours. My body was spent at the end of each day, but thanks to an instant-cup coffee maker, I always had coffee ready at hand. My nights were typically spent on the phone with Holly and the kids, others as necessary, but mainly in readying my notes for the next day, using my classroom as an office. Thankfully, I had taught the class before, so most of my 104 pages of notes were already finished. Nonetheless, I needed to revise and review them to get them fresh in my head again. Reviewing my notes was as good for me as I hope it was in teaching them to the men.
One of my favorite aspects of this week is always the presentations by the men. They each read a biography of a Christian leader, summarized his life, and pointed out lessons for us to learn. The men presented excellent, balanced 20-minute looks at the lives of Captain Allen Gardiner (South America), D.L. Moody (USA), Watchman Nee (China), and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Germany). I enjoyed being their student instead of their teacher.
The travel on both ends of my week allowed some hours to prepare to preach for Sunday, and I read some things for fun as well. During the week, I enjoyed eating a couple of meals with my nieces (college sophomores) and other friends and seeing the campus of my alma mater. There seems to be a good spirit among the students on campus, undergraduate and above. The campus looks just as beautiful as ever. May the Lord continue to bless BJU for His glory until Christ comes again.