FC Missional Moment: Voices from the Commons
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** Why am I here?
I recently attended one of the Faculty Commons conferences that I had avoided attending for decades because I was “too busy.” It was the best reminder I have had about our unique calling as professors and the best opportunity I know of to learn practical, innovative and proven strategies for sensitively sharing the love of Jesus on our campuses.
Have you ever wondered why you ended up becoming a professor or why God gave you the skills, intelligence and passion for academia?
The recent “A Common Call” conference helped reinforce what had been for me a struggle with my calling.
I never wanted to be a professor, but doors to other careers stayed shut. In my early years, I was unhappy about this career path and there were times I was almost depressed with my work despite making great strides professionally. I did not realize that this was all part of God’s plan to place me where He wanted me.
Against seemingly insurmountable odds, God strategically placed Joseph, a foreign prisoner, in the second most powerful position in Egypt, to save his people and the Egyptians from famine. He also strategically made Esther, an orphan and a foreign captive, the queen of Persia to save her people.
Similarly, God uniquely called and prepared us for this profession, gifted and equipped us, and then strategically placed us in our institutions to excel in our disciplines and to be effective witnesses for Him.
This is because He cares about the fields that are “ripe for harvest” on our campuses and He longs for us to exploit our potential to be His witnesses to so many.
After the Common Call conference, my colleagues who attended but had previously kept their faith quiet started using new and effective ways to share Jesus’s love on their campuses with amazing results.
I now consider attending the Faculty Commons conference as important to fulfilling God’s calling on my life as attending my annual professional meeting is to my professional development. It not only reminds me of my strategic calling but also speaks to the legacy I will leave.
** What legacy will I leave?
What legacy will I leave after I retire? Will it be just publications, grants, awards, students taught and graduated, inventions, and secular positive impacts on society? Would I have achieved the primary purpose of my existence and placement at my institution, which is to attract others to a loving Savior who gave His all for them?
I never met the late Dr. Robert Barnes of the University of Wisconsin, but his testimony inspires me. His obituary notes that he was a Congressional Science Fellow, the executive vice president of three professional societies and he received numerous awards. In addition, it states that he organized the Christ-followers’ breakfast for the Agronomy Society of America and he was an elder, marriage mentor, etc. in his church. It concludes that “His purpose was to live a life worthy of his calling as a Christ follower, husband, father, grandfather and person.”
This is the kind of legacy I want to leave.
–Adegbola Adesogan, Professor of Animal Nutrition, University of Florida
In the new year, we are hosting five regional conferences for faculty at these locations:
Greenville, SC– February 19-20, 2016
San Diego, CA–March 5, 2016
Baton Rouge, LA–April 1-2, 2016
San Luis Obispo, CA–April 9, 2016
Bellingham, WA–June 4, 2016
Hear from Walter Bradley, distinguished professor with over 40 years of service and ministry
Explore with other Christian faculty our common call to the university and the world
Network with colleagues from other universities
Share ideas of effective ministry
A Common Call Conference (http://www.acommoncall.org/)
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“I forget that every achievement points to God’s awesome glory. I could not achieve anything without the body that he has given me, the gifts he has bestowed upon me, the control he has over me and my world, and the grace that daily rescues me from me. My successes should depend on my awe of him rather than tempting me to be in awe of me.”
― Paul David Tripp
** Upcoming Series by Ken Elzinga, Robert C. Taylor Chair of Economics, UVA
** The Professor as Servant
The Professor’s Credentials
The Professor’s Office Hours
The Professor’s Voice
The Professor’s Website
The Professor’s Home
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