Why all are welcome into my “start an orphanage” course
There have been some questions about why I don’t have any requirements for people taking my “start an orphanage” course. The following is my reason.
When Jesus saw potential disciples who were strangers, he would tell them, “come follow me” ( Matt. 4:18-22; Mark 10:17-21). Jesus had no educational requirements or even a clearly stated type of work experience you had to have to be his disciple. He invited people from all walks of life to follow him. The invitation was to come and learn, not to come and be an apostle–the people Jesus hand-picked as qualified to lead his church. At some point, Jesus had thousands of disciples. The invitation to come and learn–disciple means student, pupil, follower etc–did not mean that Jesus was certifying them as ready for ministry as a missionary (apostles are missionaries). No, after training his disciples for years, he finally selected 12 people whom he called apostles. Those were the qualified ones. It was to them (the remaining eleven apostles) that he gave the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20, not to the thousands who had followed him before.
Jesus even asked the 12, “Do you want to go away as well?” (John 6:67). This shows that he was even open to the 12 leaving and not continuing through if they chose to. Coming to learn from Jesus wasn’t a guarantee that you will remain until you go to serve him as an apostle. It was an opportunity to come and learn and decide for yourself whether you wanted to continue or not; in short, whether that line of work was what you thought or was something you wanted to pursue. No doubt, the disciples viewpoints were changed for the better as they followed Jesus. Many of them thought Jesus was going to take over the kingdom at the very time and free them from Roman oppression. They learned that it was not so. They learned that to be first, they had to be slaves of all, etc. In fact, the changing of minds is what learning is all about. If you take a class and never have your perception of things challenged and changed for the better, what have you really learned? As it was for Jesus, there is also no requirement that we impose on people to come and learn except that they feel called of God to serve orphans and of course are proficient in English, the language of instruction. All are welcome, believers and non-believers alike.
* Jesus did something interesting to note here. Before choosing 12 of his many disciples to be his apostles, he spent the entire night praying before making that decision. Luke 6:12-13 records it saying, “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles.” Jesus first invited people to be disciples (students). He taught them and spent time with them. Afterward, he agonized in prayer all night before choosing 12 of them to be apostles. But how did he choose disciples, he seemed to have simply invited people to come and learn.
This course invites people to come and learn!