9/17/2007

My Audience

As a college teacher, I face an audience just like preachers. In some ways teaching has an advantage (I can make assignments and I give grades) but in other ways I have a disadvantage over preaching [MORE]

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post. I had you in several classes and I loved the way you operated the class room. I have tried to remember many of the activities and I think they have helped make me a good teacher today in the small church I pastor. I just had an initial interview to teach APS old and new testament for IWU and I plan to make the class room experience an exciting atmosphere. i remember how you used to help us pass the tests by reviewing each week. That was great. I put that in the ol' motivational file. the group activities helped us take a large amount of information and compact it to help us remember it later. I have adapted and plan to use this style in all the bible classes I teach. I am currently teaching 3 bible studies at my church and using some of the methods of teaching I gleaned from your classes are helping people learn outside of IWU. Even people who think IWU isn't as cool as we think it is.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Teachers are God's gift to mankind...because, as Aquinas said (and I just recently read) "Creation is not so much about how it all began, but how everything relates to God"...That is what the academic disciplines should be about...
AND, every pupil you teach, is responsible before God for accountability...if the heart is in the right place, that accountability will materialize...
This is where I think the question lies...in human freedom...and the Church as a social structure in "helping along"...hopefully not becoming a stumbling block...

And just because you are in the religion department does not mean that the ministers you prepare are the "ultimate" in God's gifts...all of the students that you teach in whatever capacity they are "called" are God's gift to mankind...It is recognizing and helping to develop those gifts that is the greatest joy to the teacher...

David Drury said...

I was thinking about these same categories applied to the church... and I too, the longer I go in ministry, appreciate the "steady plodders" more and more. The rank and file raising it up a notch or two may make a bigger difference than one or two very passionate leaders. However... you have to measure the impact over a longer period of time.

Much like seed!
(or yeast, or light, or salt)

-dd

Michael R. Cline said...

After just getting out of your nest at IWU, I read this and wonder where I will fall among the scattered seeds. I hope to be a steady plodder, but if I am not careful, I see myself being very susceptible to getting lost in too many passions. May God give me grace.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh Dr. Drury at your idea of lost calls and pathway students and those too busy to give it their "all". Some of the those in the secular workforce who make a "true difference" would have been the ones you grieved over.

There are some really valuable ministers of God fulfilling their callings w/out a religious pulpit and much more effectively than most paid ministers will ever do.

I guess it is all in how one looks at it! And considering how folks change as they grow and how the needs of society change over time, I'm not so sure that young whipper snapper can really know at the college level what their true callings will be!

Moses was called to liberate the children of Israel but did he know then he would be stuck taking care of them for the remainder of his life. No, God just said, do this one thing.

Besides, most religious students by the time they leave college are so puffed up and ready to take on the world for God that they are useless anyways. It only took a desert experience to train Moses. Maybe if we had more desert educations and less college dreams and aspirations, God might have a few student He could be proud of!

Aren't we glad man looks at the outward appearance, but God...God looks at the heart.

Jeffrey V. said...

Dr. Drury, what kind of student were you back in the day?

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind, God never does anything fast or with fanfare!

So if you want to be like God....well, you get the picture.

That is what boggles my mind with all these folks who say they are doing the will of God and then have to make a production of it or make the world notice them. God is nothing like that really.

Keith Drury said...

JEFFERY>>> Fair question. I was a goof-off student until I got married two years before graduation... after which I became a more promising plodder. The spiritual hot shots in my class have long ago burned out, spun out, or abandoned their faith. So maybe that biases me toward the steady plodders.

John Mark said...

I was involved in a class reunion of sorts at the Christian school where I earned two degrees, both on the basis of tenure. During a sharing time the first night, a man shared how he had gone to two of our denominational schools and left as he came, a non-Christian. At age 50 he found himself suicidal, and (I don't recall exact details at this point) found his way to God.
He was in tears pretty much the whole weekend, and very thankful for the influence the university had on him 40 years ago, though at the time he seemed the classic example of one who was unaffected by the spiritual aspect of it all.
He may represent a small number of students and former students, but Elton Trueblood wrote somewhere that when young people marry and begin to have children, it can serve as a catylist to make them think about spiritual things.
So you may have had more influence than you think on at least some who drifted in and out of IWU seemingly unchanged.

G.R. ''Scott'' Cundiff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
G.R. ''Scott'' Cundiff said...

On behalf of plodders everywhere I thank you.

Josh and Jamie Hilty said...

I think my own tendency is to want to be someone who produces 100-fold, and I get disappointed when I'm "only" plodding. Thanks for a good reminder, Coach. Also, does Jesus ever imply that becoming someone who produces 100-fold is better than one who produces 30-60-fold?

Anonymous said...

While reading, my thoughts wandered to chapter 5 of Paul's second letter to the Corinthian Church...

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (NLT)

It is a struggle in a judgmental world to not engage in evaluating both our own success and that of others but the discipline of the heart and mind in this direction is well worth the effort. (I also recommend the context of these verses for additional reflection).

It may well be that this is the sort of faith that keeps on keeping on and directing the glory to God. I think that Lord Jesus would approve of that. :-)

Dean

JustinJNierer said...

I never went to IWU so whatever happens, I will never hold you responsible.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those who had extra passion for god while in college. After being deeply hurt in the church I now have no passion for the church or for god either.

Now, what does a CM major without faith do with their degree?

David Drury said...

Like a fish with a bicyle...
:-(

Options:
1) Come home. You're missed.
2) Still work for ethical world change... often with the best of the Christians you'll find I bet.
3) Go into teaching. All education of any kind is useful for teachers.

Unfortunately, a CM degree is not as easily transferrable to other fields... and that's because it is tied to this "Ministry Call" thing.

I, of course, think you and others like you are still called, even though you lack faith (this may sound very much like nonsense to you). So we're going to be very little help to you until you return and we have the chance to be like the Waiting Father instead of the Elder Brother.

Sorry. Foolishness to the wise.

-DD

Ken said...

Keith, I don't really know how I would be classified in your list (and I'm not requesting a comment!), but I'd like to thank you for throwing seed my way back in 1988.

I was sitting in the back of your class, wanting to be anywhere but there, and your crazy teaching style and hyper-caffeinated Bible studies gripped me like few teachers or profs I'd ever witnessed.

I've been serving in church ministry for over fifteen years now, and though it's ultimately God who began the work in me (and continues it today), he sure used you to capture my mind and heart.

Thanks for your list; it's good to contemplate and reflect on one's response to truth and growth thus far. But my comment is offered specifically with appreciation for you... thanks for throwing seed my way, brother. It took root, and I'm so much better for it!

Anonymous said...

CM, enjoy real life and get to know God. I am convinced you cannot really know God until you get to know him outside the confines of organized religion.

That will be better than any CM degree you have ever received and will make you absolutely more useful.

Somewhere, long ago, organized religion missed the boat.

You will find over time, once you are loosed from the hellish chains of religion that God is nothing like what you have been taught or bound by.

Then your CM degree will have some teeth but by then, you will find the degree was only helpful if you had chosen to serve within the confines of the "bound organizations". I wish you well. You are among many friends in this world.

Robin said...

My husband recently did a Master's level study on the training process for ministerial students at a particular undergraduate evangelical institution. He sought to explore what those who successfully launched into ministry had in common, vs. those who don't end up pursuing ministry. At this instutution, less than 25% of those studying for the ministry actually "successfully launched into ministry" after they graduated.

The two factors that he was able to identify were:

1) A clear sense of calling. Though those who successfully launched had a great variety of ways in which they were called, they were all able to define it clearly. It did not depend on an impressive or dynamic calling, or even a slow and steady growing sense of security. Clarity was the key.

2)A stable relationship with ministerial mentor. This person helped smooth some of the bumps in the road, which could have turned into obstacles.

The interesting thing to me was that though this institution has less than a 25% launch rate; 100% of those who had those who had a clear sense of calling and a mentor successfully launched into ministry after graduation.

The study was not exhaustive or universally applicable, but I think it was interesting nonetheless. The simple yet practical application for future ministers: seek to clearly define your call, and find a stable mentoring relationship.

JohnLDrury said...

this parable is tricky b/c it is unclear whether anything can be done to prepare the soil better. in your own experience, is there anything you can do to prepare the soil better? or even aim your seeds? or do you just have to spread it, wait, and invest time and energy into the seeds which produce crop?