One of the things that makes the RTS Charlotte campus distinctive is the number of missionaries we have sent out over the years. For whatever providential reasons, God has allowed the Charlotte campus to be a fruitful training ground for folks headed to the mission field.
This missions “vibe” in Charlotte simply reflects the overall ethos we are shooting for here. We not only want our seminary to be theologically solid, but also outwardly focused and passionate about fulfilling the Great Commission.
Right now, Charlotte alums serve in countries such as Peru, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, France, England, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, and a number of places in the Middle East.
And we can also add Namibia to the mix. The next installment in our Where Are They Now? series is Michael Knight (class of 2013) who is currently serving as a missionary in Namibia. Here is his interview:
- What are you currently doing?
I am a lecturer at Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary (NETS) in Windhoek, Namibia.
- Why did you originally come to RTS Charlotte?
While serving as a short-term missionary for one year in Namibia, I observed the great need in the church for both sound Bible teaching and trained youth workers. The opportunity for me to help meet those needs would eventually be teaching at the local seminary, but for that I would need further education. So back in the States, I was looking for an affordable program (because a missionary can’t be in debt!) at an evangelical seminary that offered lots of Bible and theology courses, but also plenty of electives that I could fill in with missions courses. Ultimately RTS fit the bill.
- Is there one thing that you learned at RTS that has come back to you as you have ministered to others? A phrase, encouragement or advice?
So many helpful insights from our RTS lectures have made their way into my own teaching curriculum. However, perhaps my most influential takeaway from RTS has been a love for Biblical Theology, that is, how the different parts of the Bible relate to each other. That, more than anything else, has shaped how I teach the Bible to others.
- What do you enjoy most about your current ministry?
There’s nothing like teaching students who are hungry to learn! I love watching the light bulbs come on as we open up the Scriptures in class. I love hearing stories from the students about how they are using the things we discussed in class in their church ministries. I love being challenged by their faith and passion for serving God. It’s like Paul said, “For you are our glory and joy” (1 Thess 2:20)!
- What has been a struggle in your ministry?
Learning to manage the workload has been a challenge. There will never be a lack of ministry opportunities. There will always be another speaking engagement, or article to write, or small group to lead, or someone who needs a mentor. And on top of that, my pride feeds on the affirmation of so many people “needing” me to minister to them. Then when I’m tired and overworked I simultaneously complain about the workload while boasting in my “sacrifice for the Lord.” Countering my pride is a challenge. Valuing and preserving time spent drinking deeply from the Well of Living Water is a challenge. But I can only pour out to others what I’ve first been filled with myself.
- If you could give any encouragement to a current student in seminary, what would it be?
Don’t go to seminary just to expand your biblical and theological head knowledge. M.Div degrees are a dime a dozen. That’s not what makes great pastors or preachers. Bishop William Quayle once explained that preaching is not the art of making a sermon and delivering it. “Preaching is the art of making a preacher and delivering that!” In the same way, seminary is about so much more than academics. It’s about shaping your heart and forming godly character. So learn from the lectures, but more so learn from the lecturers. Study the Bible, but more so absorb the Bible. Don’t just shape your mind, but let that shape your heart.