1. THE GREAT NEED
a. What is the need of the world today? John 12:32.
“While self is kept out of sight Jesus Christ must be ever lifted up and exalted.”—The Voice in Speech and Song, p. 322.
“Lift Him up, the Christ of Calvary; lift Him up, that the world may behold Him. Talk of His goodness, sing of His love, and give Him the grateful thanks of your hearts.”—The Upward Look, p. 37.
b. How is this work to be accomplished? Proverbs 23:12; Matthew 28:19.
“We must educate, educate, to prepare a people who will understand the message, and then give the message to the world.”—The Review and Herald, February 6, 1908.
“Now, as never before, we need to understand the true science of education. If we fail to understand this, we shall never have a place in the kingdom of God.”—Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, p. 53.
“As long as time shall last, we shall have need of schools.”— Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 417.
2. PHYSICAL TRAINING
a. How does the call of Elisha highlight physical training as a preparation for spiritual work? 1 Kings 19:19.
“Practical work encourages close observation and independent thought. Rightly performed, it tends to develop that practical wisdom which we call common sense. It develops ability to plan and execute, strengthens courage and perseverance, and calls for the exercise of tact and skill.”—Education, p. 220.
“In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 275.
“Provision should have been made in past generations for education upon a larger scale. In connection with the schools should have been agricultural and manufacturing establishments. There should also have been teachers of household labor. And a portion of the time each day should have been devoted to labor, that the physical and mental powers might be equally exercised. If schools had been established upon the plan we have mentioned, there would not now be so many unbalanced minds.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 153.
“Working the soil is one of the best kinds of employment, calling the muscles into action and resting the mind. Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools. This is the very first work that should be entered upon. Our schools should not depend upon imported produce, for grain and vegetables, and the fruits so essential to health. Our youth need an education in felling trees and tilling the soil as well as in literary lines. Different teachers should be appointed to oversee a number of students in their work and should work with them. . . .
“Daily, systematic labor should constitute a part of the education of youth even at this late period. Much can now be gained in this way. In following this plan the students will realize elasticity of spirit and vigor of thought, and in a given time can accomplish more mental labor than they could by study alone.”—Ibid., vol.6, pp. 179, 180.
“Some do not appreciate the value of agricultural work. These should not plan for our schools, for they will hold everything from advancing in right lines.”—Ibid., p.178.
3. MENTAL DEVELOPMENT
a. How does the study of the Bible affect a person’s mind? Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23.
“The mind will enlarge, if it is employed in tracing out the relation of the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. Go below the surface; the richest treasures of thought are waiting for the skillful and diligent student.”—Messages to Young People, p. 262.
“A familiar acquaintance with the Scriptures sharpens the discerning powers, and fortifies the soul against the attacks of Satan.”—Ibid., p.397.
“Let the mind grasp the stupendous truths of revelation, and it will never be content to employ its powers upon frivolous themes; it will turn with disgust from the trashy literature and idle amusements that are demoralizing the youth of today. Those who have communed with the poets and sages of the Bible, and whose souls have been stirred by the glorious deeds of the heroes of faith, will come from the rich fields of thought far more pure in heart and elevated in mind than if they had been occupied in studying the most celebrated secular authors, or in contemplating and glorifying the exploits of the Pharaohs and Herods and Caesars of the world.”—Ibid., pp.255, 256.
b. Through the influence of the Word, what is the New Covenant experience? Hebrews 8:10; Psalm 37:30, 31.
“In the reverent contemplation of the truths presented in His word the mind of the student is brought into communion with the infinite mind. Such a study will not only refine and ennoble the character, but it cannot fail to expand and invigorate the mental powers.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 596-599.
“The precious faith inspired of God imparts strength and nobility of character. As His goodness, His mercy, and His love are dwelt upon, clearer and still clearer will be the perception of truth; higher, holier, the desire for purity of heart and clearness of thought. The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought is transformed by intercourse with God through the study of His word. Truth is so large, so far-reaching, so deep, so broad, that self is lost sight of. The heart is softened and subdued into humility, kindness, and love.”—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 465, 466.
4. SPIRITUAL STRENGTH
a. How will Bible study and instruction lead to a deeper spiritual experience in our missionary students? 1 Peter 1:23; Ephesians 5:26.
“In giving us the privilege of studying His word, the Lord has set before us a rich banquet. Many are the benefits derived from feasting on His word, which is represented by Him as His flesh and blood, His spirit and life. By partaking of this word our spiritual strength is increased; we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. Habits of self-control are formed and strengthened. The infirmities of childhood—fretfulness, willfulness, selfishness, hasty words, passionate acts—disappear, and in their place are developed the graces of Christian manhood and womanhood.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 207.
“As man uses his talents, however small, with faithfulness, the Holy Spirit takes the things of God, and presents them anew to the mind. Through His Spirit God makes His word a vivifying power. It is quick and powerful, exerting a strong influence upon minds, not because of the learning or intelligence of the human agent, but because divine power is working with the human power. And it is to the divine power that all praise is to be given.”—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 55.
b. What is the goal of true missionary education? 2 Peter 3:18.
“The highest class of education is that which will give such knowledge and discipline as will lead to the best development of character, and will fit the soul for that life which measures with the life of God. Eternity is not to be lost out of our reckoning. The highest education is that which will teach our children and youth the science of Christianity, which will give them an experimental knowledge of God’s ways, and will impart to them the lessons that Christ gave to His disciples, of the paternal character of God.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 45, 46.
“The education and training of the youth is an important and solemn work. The great object to be secured should be the proper development of character, that the individual may be fitted rightly to discharge the duties of the present life and to enter at last upon the future, immortal life. Eternity will reveal the manner in which the work has been performed.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 418.
5. THE ALL-ROUND MISSIONARY
a. What did Christ’s work on earth involve? Matthew 4:23. How should we train our missionaries today to do a similar work? Why?
“Let us remember that one most important agency is our medical missionary work. Never are we to lose sight of the great object for which our sanitariums are established—the advancement of God’s closing work in the earth.
“Loma Linda is to be not only a sanitarium, but an educational center. With the possession of this place comes the weighty responsibility of making the work of the institution educational in character. A school is to be established here for the training of gospel medical missionary evangelists.”—Counsels on Health, p. 233.
“The school at Madison not only educates in a knowledge of the Scriptures, but it gives a practical training that fits the student to go forth as a self-supporting missionary to the field to which he is called. In his student days he is taught how to build, simply and substantially, how to cultivate the land and care for the injured. This training for medical-missionary work is one of the grandest objects for which any school can be established. . . .
“The time is soon coming when God’s people, because of persecution, will be scattered in many countries. Those who have received an all-round education will have the advantage where they are. The Lord reveals divine wisdom in thus leading His people to the training of all their faculties and capabilities for the work of disseminating truth.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 280.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why is the special work of preparing missionaries more important now than ever before?
2. Explain the role of manual labor in education.
3. Why does the study of the Bible afford the best mental development?
4. What will be the result when students feast on the Word of God on a regular basis?
5. What skills help to make a well-rounded missionary?