When facing a classroom full of new students, the hardest part of teaching for me is finding “The Sweet Spot.” Every class make-up is different. Bethany College of Missions can be a complicated challenge for anyone. Though this particular class is made of people with many similarities (age, nationality and so forth), this has not always been the case. From time to time I have had classes where there was a range of seventeen to nearly sixty years of age. I have had, in the same room, Pentecostals to Presbyterians and Baptists to bugerheads. Some of the students have earned PhD’s while others barely have their GED’s. Then on top of all this, I once had a student body made up of people this range of ethnic and cultural diversity – US, Canada, England, France, Japan, Tajikistan, Zambia, New Zealand and on and on it goes.
Frankly, I like teaching in this kind of minefield. I love stripping people of their cultural and denominational dispositions and doing my best to introduce them to the idea of living instead in the culture of the King.
These are a great group of committed young people who have made the hard decision to never have a REAL job. They have for the sake of the world and eternity thrown themselves upon the gospel and have no “Plan B.” They have made the choice – all of their lifetimes – to face the headwinds of adversity.
When I stand before them I often feel like the writer of the Royal Book of the Hebrews when in chapter 11, verses 37-38 the text reads,
“They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth…”