When I first enrolled at Columbia Bible College, I thought I was going to attending for only one year. One year turned into four and a half. It was a journey I wasn’t expecting, but one that has been very fulfilling. From the start people said a lot of things to me about attending Bible College. Some of them I believed at first, but along the way I’ve realized most of the things they told me were actually myths.
Myth Number 1
Bible College, will make you an expert in theology, the church, and the Bible. You are going to go back to your home church and you are going to teach those people a lesson! You’re going to be the one everyone looks up to! Turns out that was a total myth. I had that attitude for a while, but it didn’t go over that great — especially at church. Surprise, surprise: people didn’t respond very well when I tried to correct them! The more I listened to my instructors at Columbia, the more I realized that maybe being a Bible expert wasn’t the point. For one thing, I didn’t have anything close to my professors’ education or knowledge. If anyone was going to be an expert, it was them, not me. I was just starting my journey of learning.
But my teachers didn’t desire to be experts either. What they desired most was to follow and serve Christ with their whole hearts. That’s when I realized that my time at Bible College wasn’t about becoming an expert — it was about knowing Christ, having Him at the centre of my whole life as I serve wholeheartedly. I’ll never be an expert! What’s important isn’t compiling information, it’s humbly getting to know the Person: Christ.
Myth Number 2
Bible College won’t get you a “real” job. At first, this myth felt really true for me. I wasn’t sure what a “real” job was (Does a paycheque make it a real job? Is it real if the job makes you matter in society?). But I worried about it. If I go to Columbia Bible College, what will I do? What will I become? I decided this was not a helpful way of thinking. I knew that God had called me to this school and I realized how foolish I was to now doubt Him: “You called me to this school, God, but will you really provide a real job for me?”
Now I’ve graduated, and I have the awesome privilege of being the Director of Camp Likely, a small Christian camp outside of Williams Lake. This is a job that I never even knew existed. And it even pays! We are in the middle of nowhere working with kids of all backgrounds. But it’s a place where I get to share the Kingdom of God! So my Columbia Bible College education did get me a real job. Who knew? God knew, and it’s great.
Myth Number 3
Bible College is just a Christian bubble, not part of the real world. There some truth to this myth, I’ll admit. But… it is a privilege to get to live in this bubble – in such a Christ-centred, Kingdom-focused community – for a season. It’s also true that Columbia wanted to open the door to the real world, to experience people who are not like me. During my internship I spent a year in Guatemala, living in the real world with people who are not like me, who don’t even speak the same language. I had the opportunity to meet people I never would have met. This experience created opportunities for me to make a world impact, in Guatemala, in Abbotsford, in Chilliwack, in Williams Lake.
Everyday I have the chance to impact the world in all that I say and do — to show grace to people who think and act differently from me. I’ve realized that I have love to give. And the more I come to know who Christ is in my life, I more I can join Christ in loving others in this world.
The preceding is a Sponsored Post adapted from an address given on October 25, 2015 by Kate Reid, 2015 graduate of Columbia’s Intercultural Studies BA program and Director of Camp Likely in Williams Lake, BC.
photo by (flickr CC) Andréa Portilla