Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's About More Than The Classroom

I view what I do as much more than teaching Greek. It's so much more. Sure, I love Greek. I love my Greek New Testament. But getting people to know, use, and love their Greek New Testaments, as noble a goal as that is, is simply not enough for me. Theological education ought to be so much more. Now before it sounds like I'm bragging about myself, let me just say I'm not. But I am thankful to the Lord for impressing something much bigger and far better than Greek as a goal. I'm thankful God didn't let me make Greek my "main thing" and thus hope to make Greek my students' "main thing." I want to see my students living for the Great Commission, that's it. I want them to view everything they are and everything they have as a stewardship in light of the wonderful calling that we have in Christ Jesus, and that includes Greek.

Last week I had the opportunity to spend about three hours with one of my Greek students. We talked about Greek, lots of it. We walked through the difference between lexical analysis and syntactical analysis. We discussed structural analysis and practiced on the board. We looked at a few sample passages from the Greek New Testament, such as Phil. 3:17-21, one of my favorite New Testament passages. But we discussed so much more. We talked about the Christian life. We talked about stewardship. We talked about how the best grade you can get in a seminary class and life in general is an "F," that is when the "F" stands for "faithful" (Matt. 25:23). We talked about priorities, and we talked about making the most of our lives and attempting great things for God, not just expecting great things from him, a point William Carey is famous for making. Who knows what that student will remember from his Greek class with me. But if all he takes away is λύω, λύεις, λύει, λύομεν . . ., I will not be satisfied. But if he walks away remembering some of the Greek, able to make use of what he's learned in ministry, as well as some of the life we talked about, well, then to God be all the glory. Mission accomplished.

That student sent me an email after our meeting:
"Thank you again, Dr. Hudgins, for your encouragement, understanding, and time spent. I appreciate it and will take full advantage of what you poured into my spirit today. Thank you!"
I responded with the following:
"You are most welcome. You’re worth the investment. That’s why God has poured so much into you. My own investment in your life is just a fraction of the tiniest fraction compared to that. Make the most of what God gives you. Maximize everything you can—your time, your strength, your weakness, your passions, your love, your failures—for the kingdom. The greatest gift we have to offer is ourselves. Place that in his hands and he has a perfect track record of using it in the most glorious ways possible."
There's more to teaching than the classroom. So much more.

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