Volume 19 Issue 6
Why have a Bible college? More personally, why do we sponsor a Bible college?
Some people do not see Bible college as being all that significant. Others protest that it is a waste of a young person’s time and money and argue that a Bible college education does not prepare students for the real world. Some feel it’s just not that cool. I readily concede that it is not right for everyone, but then what one thing is right for everyone? Bible colleges fill a niche and a vital one at that. Bible colleges are foundational to worldwide revival.
So, we do this because it matters. And because it provides an opportunity that the called of God who walk through the doors of Indiana Bible College cannot find at any secular institution. Bible college prepares students for ministry. It prepares students for ministry in a dynamic and unique atmosphere unlike any other school. It provides a community of like-minded peers who challenge, shape, critique, dream and pray with each other. It places Bible-believing teachers and ministry professionals in a student’s network of supporters. It gives them a place to polish their skills as preachers, musicians, teachers and church leaders. It builds faith. A Bible college casts a vision for world missions, metro evangelism, Christian education and music ministry. Bible college is a place – a place where young men and women work through their fears, doubts, questions, problems and hurts; a place where they are tested and tempted; a place where they find themselves. It is here where many overcome that last ounce of uncertainty and nail down who they really are and what they really believe.
Bible college is not a general education with an occasional class on religion, but four action-packed years where Apostolic doctrine is intertwined into every aspect of the student’s experience. It is everyday, and it demands commitment to truth. Unlike secular education paradigms, Indiana Bible College does not attempt to tear down this commitment, or attempt to take students to ground zero and put them on an intellectual pursuit to build an academic understanding of the Bible. We do not merely present them with all of the different doctrinal options and hope they come to choose the right one. In direct opposition to this philosophy, IBC strives to affirm our student’s commitment to truth and we work to give them the tools and skills needed to defend this precious Apostolic doctrine and fulfill the Great Commission. It is affirmed in our music, revivals, chapel services, conferences, retreats, and by providing our students access to great men and women of God whose surety helps provide them confidence in their calling and commitment.
Why do we do this? I suppose it is because of the students. The searching I see in their eyes for someone to help them fulfill that dominating, all-consuming, holy call upon their lives. Just knowing that if we can help them overcome fear and uncertainty many of them will go on to pursue that calling and impact the world. That is what keeps me going. We do it because we know that here at Indiana Bible College they have the chance to find support for their calling and answers to their nagging questions, feelings of inadequacy and doubts. We do it because we want to join hands with pastors in providing a place where the called can find validation – a place where timidity is replaced with boldness, fear with faith, worldliness with holiness, and the secular with the sacred.
Although I have on many occasions been bone tired and weary, I have never resented the enormous amount of time it takes to do this work. The joy of the mission sustains me. Micki and I have had many setbacks and disappointments in this work, but I don’t think we have ever questioned the calling. The lack of funds seems to be the heaviest of the burdens, but somehow we find the strength to put all of that in the hands of God. While I believe we must provide students with excellence in education, I cannot find a reason to submit the school to any process that forfeits control to secular agencies or government merely for the sake of funding. I pray and fast for a financial miracle, but I have yet to be discouraged.
I have made many mistakes and missed some opportunities, but I have tried not to let that prevent me from going forward. My greatest source of strength comes through God’s people. I am inspired by the staff members of Indiana Bible College who labor here with Micki and me. They are an outstanding group of people who everyday fill the atmosphere with joy and love. I am also encouraged daily by the great saints of Calvary Tabernacle who give so much of their money and time to dream the dream with all of us.
I hear people talk about worldwide revival, and I believe we are in the beginning phases of this revolutionary event. But, it will demand thousands of new preachers, educators and musicians who have dedicated themselves to the work of Christ. So we press on. I hope a thousand new students will come this year, a thousand new friends, a thousand new preachers, a thousand new leaders for our churches, and I pray they will spark thousands of new revivals. Yes. That is why we do this.