Making Disciples Through Theological Education
It’s a privilege to be a member of the adjunct faculty at NBC Online. After Evelyn’s and my years of face-to-face involvement with students in two Nazarene colleges in southern Africa (Republic of South Africa and Eswatini/Swaziland), it was hard to imagine that “virtual” instruction could be as effective. Yet after several years of teaching my favorite classes, “Communicating the Gospel in a Pluralistic World” and “Global Evangelism,” I have come to believe that much true learning and growth takes place—in both students and faculty!
My life verses from Matthew 28 (16-20) were not only fulfilled in mentoring students at Africa Nazarene Theological College and the Nazarene College of Theology, but are being fulfilled at NBC Online as well. Making disciples of Jesus has been the direction, scope and impetus of my life. It has been wonderful to see men and women in ministry participate in commitment to God’s global passion.
Not only is the command clear, but also the invitation and the purpose of the Great Commission is clear. The command to “make disciples” where we are (“going”), as well as enfolding them into the Church (“baptizing”) and helping them become disciple-makers (“teaching them to obey everything”) is true not only in the immediate context, but also in the global one. We are called to participate in “all peoples” everywhere evangelism. The task is still enormous, but we do what we do because we love a “missionary God,” who crosses every barrier, inviting us to participate with him.
Growing up in the Northwest United States in a pastor’s home, and attending Nazarene institutions of higher learning, was formative in my development. It also put me in contact with missionaries. Reading missionary biographies as well as “missionary reading books” also helped put me in contact with these Great Commission-obedient men and women of faith. It was no surprise that I heard the Lord’s call to missionary service in early childhood. Since then, it has been a wonderful journey! And I’m not sure it’s over yet, with opportunities through my home church to participate in Work and Witness as well as trips relating to congregational partnerships.
Rev. Hugh Friberg has been teaching for NBC since 2011.
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 07/13/2020