The fall semester for 2015 has officially started! If you are in school like I am, today marks the beginning of being one step closer to earning a degree, becoming a better person, and hopefully finding the job we want. Today is a special day, one in which we can look backwards and forwards. What has God done in you in the past year of schooling? What is God going to do in the next year? While we like to perpetuate the myth that university is about partying and “exploring new things”, I would contend that many of us take it much more seriously, and even grow into our ministries because of the life lessons learned in college.
The educational system in America may be flawed, but it still offers a great opportunity for students to grow. Reflecting on my past year at the University of North Florida, I have had considerable growth in the areas of time management, discipline in my studies, and responsibility. In the engineering program, a student must display all of these qualities in order to succeed. These are also skills that will be valuable in life and ministry. If I look at the mentors in my life, they all have one thing in common – they have excellent time management, and it enables them to have more time for their families and ministry. God uses education to grow us in ministry, while at the same time plugging us into one of the biggest and most broken ministry fields in the United States – a public university campus.
Colossians 3:23-24 tells us “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” While we are all called to do ministry, most people are not called to work inside of the church. I recently heard one of the top dogs in a worldwide missions organization speak – he told a story about how he had stepped down from an executive position at General Electric so he could step into full time ministry. In hindsight, he said that he regretted giving up a huge and successful ministry as a businessman so he could do what he thought was right at the time, working with the missions’ organization.
Each and every person reading this blog is called to ministry, whether it be at school, work, or at home. 1 Peter 2:9 says “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” God brings each and every one of us into His light, and blesses us with different gifts and skillsets, and then places us in environments where we can sharpen and hone those skillsets. While some of us are called to work in the church, some are called to be businessmen, others are called to be teachers, and so on and so forth. Regardless of position or job title, we are all placed in specific areas for specific reasons.
Wherever you are today, at school, work, or at home – I’m willing to bet that God is working on you, furthering His plan for your life. Sometimes He works on us in unconventional ways, at least unconventional by our standards of thinking. Today I would challenge everyone who reads this blog to join me, and embrace the challenges which God has set before us. Know that God gives us these things to stretch us, and to make us better. Only then can He use us to save hundreds, thousands, and possibly millions of souls.