What school subjects should I choose if I want to go into ministry?
Using school to prepare yourself for gospel work
So you're in year 10 and you're about to choose subjects for the last few years of school. You're not sure what you want to do with your life after school - do you want to go to uni? Study arts? Do rocket science? Do a trade? Be a chippy? Be a plumber?
There are some hard decisions to make and now you have to make subject choices that (supposedly) affect the rest of your life… so what subjects are you going to choose?
If you ask your school guidance counselor, they want you to choose whatever subjects will get you the best grades, because that'll make you look smart and therefore the school will look smart. But suppose you take this opportunity to choose subjects that will help you be a better Bible teacher or ministry leader or full-time minister one day? Maybe these subjects won't make the best recipe for a high score but they may just give you a head start in being a full-time minister or Bible teacher or youth group leader…
I had no idea what I wanted to do after school, and if I had thought about it more purposefully at the time, I would've deliberately picked subjects that would help me understand the Bible better and prepare me for a life of ministry (full-time or not).
Here are the subjects I would pick:
Love it or hate it, here is a whole subject that will fill in a lot of background to the Old Testament world. When you're teaching Isaiah as a youth leader you'll be the first one who knows who the Assyrians are and why they were so scary. Modern History also a winner. All History is really God's story (His-story) so learn it and use it.
You've got to do this subject anyway, so take the time to learn about different genres and how to interpret different texts. The Bible is made up of many different genres and if you know how to spot what you're reading you're already more than half way there to understanding what the passage is saying. English will also give you a chance to work on your oral presentation skills.
Leading a ministry involves a lot of admin and organising, particularly things like camps and events. Maths is a MUST for anything you do in ministry that will cost money.
Leading a ministry often involves communication through leaflets, letters, and website interface. Art and design will help you arrange your material so that it's catchy and effective in communicating it's message.
You probably already know how to use a computer better than the teacher in your class room, but the ability to write helpful programs, create cool animations, and even just the ability to work an excel spreadsheet will save you tons of time when leading a ministry. Just learning how to do a basic mail merge in Word will probably save you 2 days at the start of each term!
There's no limit to the amount of random things you'll need to do when leading a ministry - making banners, backdrops, props, concreting (yes concreting!) are all things which you don't learn at theological college but need to be done when they pop up. Learn the skills in high school. At the very least you might be able to make a pencil box for your current youth minister that needs somewhere to put the youth group textas!
I wish I didn't drop out of business studies… When it comes to church accounts I've got no idea what's going on… I've had to play catch up and learn it all on the go. Ministry may not be business, but business is a part of ministry.
If you go to one of those schools that teaches ancient greek (classical or Koine) then do it. The New Testament is all written in greek. If you can learn what a first person present indicative active verb is while you're in high school, you'll be miles ahead when doing greek at Bible college. At the very least, learning greek grammar will teach you how to understand English better!
I'm sure science and PDHPE will come in useful somewhere too (maybe science will teach you how to make a volcano or something… and PE, how to not get fat when meeting up with people and drinking 6 coffees a day…).
In the end, no matter what you end up choosing or doing, God will use the personality, skills, gifts, and experiences he gives you so that you will be his faithful servant, but these are subjects I think will be of good use for leading a christian ministry.
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