When we made our village visit a couple weeks ago, I got in a great conversation with my friend and teammate about the role of missionaries in work among unreached people groups. Very often anyone with an advanced seminary degree sets themselves up to teach at a Bible College or leadership training institute on the mission field. It was commented to my teammate once or twice that those with academic credentials are throwing away their education by living among rural farmers. It seems the opinion of many that education, thoughtful missiology, and the like will land you in academy at best and serve administratively in a mission agency or s a church mission pastor at worst.

But, what if the very reason we gain education is to serve the least reached? What if studying Biblical languages, missiology and anthropology was for the distinct purpose to take the Gospel where it has never been? On our team we have a woman with a BA and MA in Missiology and Nursing, another guy with a MA in missiology, someone with a BA in biology, a girl with a BA in Biblical studies and Education, and another guy with two master’s degrees in theology and Biblical languages. We find it a privilege to learn language, relate them in the most contextual ways, and do everything we can to bring people together in community transformation. What the world (and often times Christian leaders themselves) may consider foolish may just be the very tools God uses to bring His salvation to the ends of the earth.

Higher education isn’t at all the point. Serving and using the tools and privileges God has given is what I’m after in my thoughts here. May we be able to see beyond the elitist mentality and send qualified servants to the most neglected places in Narnia. Not for the nations, nor for the qualified missionary running away from the American dream. .. but solely for the hollowing of His name.

Michael Oh, director of the Lausanne Council, echoes our lament. Being humble servants and nobodies for Jesus.