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Sunday, December 05, 2004

Influencers in My Life - He made us read and read and read...

In the fall of 1996, I attended a Bible College in Seattle. I did a post-graduate one year accredited study course in biblical studies. If I were to name a time when I was most challenged and stretched in my faith, the school year of 96-97 would be it. Much of that challenging and stretching I owe to one man who came from somewhat a different background to the other professors I had. He had the belief that we as students had the ability to read enormous amounts of material, digest and ponder on it, and summarize what we had learned into concisely written form to answer a number of questions he had prescribed. Rev Peter Lai in that one year, had me read me more in one quarter than I had in my whole under-graduate degree in Australia - maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but it certainly felt that way. I made the fortunate mistake of opting to take a custom designed reading course in which I would study the theology of church growth. I say mistake because Peter Lai was my supervisor, who assigned the amount of reading I would undertake that quarter. I was to read whole book on church growth each week, submit my weekly summary report of what I had learned, and then at the end of the quarter, submit a mini-thesis which summarized what I had learned about the Theology of Church Growth. It was fortunate because that one course, along with a parallel course entitled the Theology of Mission (yes the overlap was considerable) helped me to view church life, evangelism, missiology, and my own experiences with clarity. A clarity which has stuck with me permanently.

Peter Lai, in his method of teaching, raised my expectations of what I was capable of accomplishing. For that I am indebted. If you read this Peter, thank you.

the king of the hill

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