This May I will be teaching some classes. That’s not unusual. I teach a lot, and I teach about a wide range of things. But this will be different. I’ll be in Bangkok, Thailand, teaching in a doctoral program for Thai ministers. When I was first asked, it was impressed on me how important this will be to the students, who basically think any American minister knows everything there is to know about ministry. The President of the Seminary where I’ll be teaching first asked me to teach a course on Family Ministry. Since I have a doctorate in that field, I thought “no problem!”. Then he told me the second course he wants me to teach. American Church History.
Hmmm. With a doctorate in Family Ministry I’m going to teach Contemporary American Church History to a group of Thai ministers? What’s wrong with this picture? I asked him, “Why would they be interested in American Church History? His answer was that, to them, the American Church is the reason they exist. American churches sent American missionaries who led them to the Lord and planted their churches. Beyond that, they’ve watched many American churches continue to be faithful while churches from Europe have become museums. They want to follow our lead in faith.
That’s scary. These people on the other side of the planet have been watching us. They model their faith, and their churches after us. They want to be like us. They want to know as much about us as they can find out so they know how to do that. Again, that’s scary.
Whether we want the responsibility or not, we have it. People are watching you and me. People we don’t even know exist. People on the other side of the world. Their lives will be changed one way or another by our actions, our thoughts, our attitudes.
How will we live?