In January, with Christmas time over and having finished up my online class at KCU, I took on my next project: build another online class for Spring semester! I had been asked to do my World Evangelism class online for the first time and time was short if I were to get it recorded and prepared in time. Immediately after finishing up the class for last semester and handing in my grades, I cloistered myself and began working. It meant pretty much non-stop work from the 12th of December to the end of the month. I put the finishing touches on the class and waited for the Sakai (online education interface) person to assemble the videos, syllabus, tests, and teaching notes into the finished product. Some might ask, “why do you take on projects like this when you are already so busy?
That is a good question. It certainly would be easier to just say no; to take a little time off and relax. But that is not my nature. I believe the Good Lord put me on this earth to do something, not just sit around occupying space. I am aware of the financial restraints and difficulties facing our Bible Colleges as Christian parents no longer send the church’s young people to them for training. An economic necessity means they cannot offer programs that do not pay for themselves as the money is simply not there.
On top of that, successful missionaries with the terminal degrees required to teach at the university level are few and far between. If the Good Lord gave me the opportunity to study and earn a doctorate, it was not just to hang a piece of paper on the wall and brag about it, but to work and serve and to use in in His Kingdom! So I see my degree as a service opportunity and a responsibility to contribute to the Lord’s work by using it.
When the dean asked if I could teach this class online next semester, it was a call to work and to that work I dedicated myself. I pulled out my last “on campus” syllabus and teaching notes and began working to adapt the class to the online format. Teaching online is certainly very different and in many ways more difficult. If I am going to do so, I want to do the very best I can, so I dedicated myself to that project totally, working from five or six in the morning when I was ready to begin my day, until five or six that night when I was too exhausted to continue to work effectively.
I would condense each hour long lecture into twenty minutes as that is getting close to the limit the online format will permit files to be uploaded. I had twenty six lectures I needed to record. I would work on doing several every day in an attempt to make sure I was finished before the end of the year, giving time to get the class uploaded and assembled in the Sakai interface in time for the class to start in January. I worked away, every day, without even leaving the house, in an effort to have everything done on time. As December drew to an end, I had all of the recordings finished and uploaded and all that was left was putting the finishing touches on the new syllabus, final exams, and grading keys.
So why do I teach? Paul instructs us “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” So for me, to teach and train the next generation of missionaries is part and parcel of my missionary ministry. If the Good Lord opened doors so that I could become qualified to do just that, then it is up to me to be a good steward and fulfill that responsibility. I do it as a ministry, as a service. The pay is not much, and even what they pay me I turn around and donate back to the school at the end of the semester. I am not in this for the money, but for the Glory of God and His Kingdom.