Highest Learning


The Alliance has a rich legacy of education. It was our founder’s desire to invest heavily in the preparation of those who were called to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. A missionary training institute was birthed. Later came regional colleges and seminaries that remain equally committed to equipping God’s people for ministry in the world’s diverse mission fields and marketplaces.

Alliance global staff are starting elementary schools in parts of the world where children otherwise would have little or no access to a decent education. Other staff are teaching in colleges and seminaries to help train the next generation of national church leaders. Still others are finding innovative ways to present the gospel to the growing number of “oral learners,” people who are wired to soak up knowledge primarily through stories and other cultural art forms.

Learning is a necessarily sequential process. We crawl, then walk, then run. Each step builds on the previous. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise, learning would be a cumbersome and discouraging process.

But sequential learning can have an unintended downside. Our overconfidence in familiar processes sometimes makes us immovable in our methods. Believing that our knowledge and experience better qualify us to discern how to carry out God’s purposes, we often deny Him the joy of doing something truly remarkable in our midst.

Allow me one very personal example. Last month my family said its final farewells to my father, who lived with us for the last six years of his life. Bringing him into our home six years ago was not an easy call. Years of bitterness and estrangement raised considerable doubts as to whether my father and I could live under the same roof. All of my knowledge and experience shouted, “No way!

But God stepped in and did something extraordinary. He called us to live together in peace. Then He released the bitterness. Healed the wounds. Restored a family. Gave a dear old man a front row seat watching his grandchildren grow up. And granted a son the glorious honor of embracing his father as he passed into eternity.

Alliance family, may we never compromise our commitment to higher learning. But in the process, may we not lose sight of the Source of our highest learning. Father knows best. We seek Him first. It’s that elementary.

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