Blog - Grasping Vocation

Korean Student: "Christian Workers are Like Orphans"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Some welcome news came last week. The Bakke Graduate University (BGU), Seattle, accepted me as a D.Min. student. The full name of the program: Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership for the Global City. I plan to specialize in the theology of work—a BGU strength.

Why this—at my age? Because of my great respect for what BGU is doing around the world, I would like to teach for them. Responses from a recent  theology-of-work class in Busan, South Korea, will help illustrate why this opportunity excites me.

Dr. Jewel Hyun taught the course in the Graduate School of Theology, Kosin University. The class included 27 M.Div. students ranging from freshmen to graduating seniors. They came from 27 different churches.

During the August 16-20 class, the students explored the following topics: Why Theology of Work? The Creation Mandate. Sacred-secular dualism. The Biblical concept of work – OT & NT. Biblical Worldview. Stewardship and Servant Leadership. Vocation, Work, and Ministry.

Dr. Hyun asked the class: "What are some of the difficulties you face working as a Christian?” Among the responses:

Dr. Hyun also asked, "How do you think your pastor of your church can help make your work more meaningful?” Some of the students said:

When asked if their churches were sending people out to change society, one student wrote:

A question on how they would apply the training prompted these responses:

These samples from the student responses make it clear: the need for equipping church leaders with a biblical theology of work exists not only in the U.S. but around the world. BGU has taught theology of work to faculty and leaders in colleges, seminaries, and agencies in nearly 40 countries.

I can pour my heart into helping BGU serve the church worldwide in that way.

Comments (5)

Fred Gault (9/18/2010 3:41:36 PM)
Great website, keep up the good work.
Thanks for your part in last years mens retreat for CLW.
Fred
Craig Anderson (9/20/2010 1:21:19 PM)
Praise God! What does age have to do with serving our great God anyway? I believe that God is less concerned about our ABILITY as opposed to our AVAILABILITY! Keep us posted on how to lift you in prayer. Craig
Taiwo O Ayeni (9/20/2010 5:49:29 PM)
"I think Christian workers are orphans" is quite thought provoking. The comment resonated so well with me because I have witnessed situations like this across board in ministry. I hope there will one day be a forum for workers to open up to their pastors for understanding and stop pretending! Call a spade, a spade. It is a sincere and honest work that God blesses, not the one done in bitterness and resentment, without the joy of the Lord which provides one with strength. Thanks and God bless
Henry Paasonen (9/24/2010 12:55:33 PM)
Hi, Larry. Here in France, we are greatly encouraged by your focus on full-court-press in all aspects of Christian life. Small note: You write that such ministry "no pastor or missionary could ever do." Yes, we can and must do so as we encourage and equip the church as the church for daily full-court-press ministry. You quote the so encouraging words of Jesus about being "the light of the world". His charge was principally to the body of believers (grammatically plural, also as a "city") rather than primarily to individuals. The church as the church is called to be "the light of the world". The individual church member is to be bring that "llight" as he or she is not simply backed by the church body but as he or she joins others in church teamwork in a daily full-court-press for the gospel. We in America are much too much focused on the individual believer apart from the church body. Not so in other cultures -- for instance, in Nigeria.
Larry Peabody (9/25/2010 5:30:45 PM)
Thank you, Henry, for your response. I completely agree concerning the excessive individualism in our culture—even among believers. I’d like to expand on that topic and clarify the quotation from my book that you note. But to do so will take more room than I have here, so I’ll make that the subject of the next post.

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