One role of the Christian missional student aligns with the discovery metaphor “that emphasizes the learner as one who develops new ideas through exploring stimuli and discovering what is there” (1). Jesus’ disciples often modeled this role rather well, even unintentionally so (2). The Spirit of God is necessarily involved in this process of discovery.
Assumed thus far, is that the student is a disciple, one whose mind and heart are being shaped in the educational process. Along the way, the missional disciple must become multi-faceted learners. That is, they must be attentive, responsible, participatory, and self-directed in their learning, as the Spirit shapes their worldview and affections (5).
Another role the Christian missional disciple plays is that of a member of the learning community. The student’s understanding progresses as he grows together in the body of Christ (6). Furthermore, his growth as a Christian is in some sense linked to the growth of the rest of the community. Only together does the community attain maturity.
(1) “[Mission] is a constant continuum because mission is what we might call the steady state of God’s people.” Chester, Tim and Steve Timmis. Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community. (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 101.
(2) Ibid., 14.
(3) Matt 11.25-27; Matt 13.16-17; Mk 8.27-30; Luke 24.31-32; 44-47; Jn 16.29-30 .
(4) Estep Jr., James R., Michael J. Anthony, and Gregg R. Allison. A Theology for Christian Education. (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2008), 274-5.
(6) Eph 4.11-16.