Mission Statement Breakdown – Equipping Students

Podcast Publish Date: July 10, 2019 – Click here to listen

Main Points: 1) Equipping students for success involves both hard and soft skills. 2) Hard skills are more concrete, while soft skills are more abstract. 3) Both are essential for success in our 21st century environment.

Transcript: Our mission at Missio Academy is to equip students for personal, professional, and pedagogic advancement through high-quality, online education in an uplifting Apostolic Environment, ultimately for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God. Over the next few episodes, I’d like to spend some time breaking down this statement. What does it mean to equip students? What is personal advancement? Professional advancement? Pedagogic advancement? Why are these important in today’s cultural and economic environment? What does it mean to be high-quality in the online educational world? What is an uplifting apostolic Environment in the context of online education? What does it mean to advance the kingdom of God and how does this advancement connect with education? Let’s start with the first question: What does it mean to equip students? Here, we get into a discussion of hard vs. soft skills–hard skills being the concrete ability to do something in a specific field. Some examples would be riding a bike, typing, operating heavy equipment, cooking, installing windows, and stocking shelves. Soft skills, on the other hand, tend to be more generalizable, abstract, and harder to quantify. Some examples of soft skills are collaboration, communication, leadership, time management, creativity, motivation, and work ethic. Obviously, hard skills are easier to nail down (note the hard skill metaphor), but, especially with the rise of technology, instant information access, and social media, the development of soft skills have been increasingly becoming more in demand. When asked about the most important skills students need to prepare for the 21st-century workforce, business leaders and education officials alike often start with soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and orientation toward or focus on the future, complex thinking skills, decision making skills, creativity, and self-discipline. So in answer to our question, to equip students is to teach them both the soft and hard skills needed for success in this 21st-century environment. In the next episode, we will attempt to define personal, professional, and pedagogic advancement in the context of student success.

Equipping for Advancement: Resources to Help You Jump-Start the Growth Process

Podcast Publish Date: November 20, 2019 – Click here to listen

Summary: Building off the latest episode in the Equipping for Advancement series regarding learning and growing, Josiah provides a number of podcasts and books that he has recently found helpful in the continual growth process.

Main Points: 1) Growth is essential to avoid stagnancy. 2) Podcasts books can be good mediums in the growth process. 3) We should always be finding new ways to learn and grow.

Transcript: Are you growing? Are you becoming? Are you moving forward in your life by becoming a better version of what God has created you to be? We talked in another episode about stagnancy and a pond that is stagnant if you are not learning and growing and becoming, but we didn’t give you very many concrete things that you can start with to jump-start that growth process. So in today’s episode, I want to provide just a few examples or a few ideas for things that you can start to help you with that growth process. One of the things that I do on a regular basis is I listen to podcasts, because I can do it on the way to work or as I’m doing other menial tasks. One of them that I’ve listened to recently that’s a little bit more general in its knowledge is Science of Success with Matt Bodnar. Another one is The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish. Both of these podcasts involve people that have reached the top of their fields or have done very well and become successful in what they do. Matt and Shane interview these people and get wisdom and insight from them that we can then learn from by listening. Another one that I recently found is called Before Breakfast with Laura Vanderkam who also wrote the book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. This podcast is focused on time management. I also listen to podcasts on real estate, education, leadership, teaching, music… One of the best podcasts that I’ve listened to just to enjoy, just to inspire myself musically, is From the Top put on by NPR (National Public Radio). It profiles young musicians 17 and under that have grown and learned and become some of the best in their instrument, so I would encourage you to consider adding that to your list of ways to learn and grow. Of course reading books is another way to learn and to grow. Some of the books that I’ve read recently that I’ve helped me to grow are The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson, Educated by Tara Westover, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss, Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger, Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin, The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor by Steve Corbett, Leadership and Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson, Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear. Those are just some of the most recent ones that I’ve read within the last six months or so–not to say that those are necessarily going to be books that you want to read–but you can go ahead, if any of those, any of those titles caught your interest. I will post links to those books on our show notes page as well as links to the podcast that I mentioned. Our show notes page can be found at MissioAcademy.org/podcast (I think that’s in our endnotes here), but if you go and you take a look at that, you can see a summary of this podcast as well as a transcript and the resources that I mentioned in here. But once again, I’m just going to encourage you to find ways to continually learn and grow and become so that you can be the idealized, actualized, perfect, essential self that God has designed you to be.

Resources:

Josiah’s Goodreads account (with a list of books he’s read over the last few years, including those mentioned in the podcast)

Equipping for Advancement: Are You a Scholar?

Podcast Publish Date: November 11, 2019 – Click here to listen

Summary: Growth requires both inlets and outlets. We should always be learning, but also organizing and focusing that stream of knowledge into something that can be useful to others.

Main Points: 1) Water flowing in without an outlet becomes a stagnant pond. 2) Likewise, information flowing in without an outlet loses its vitality and usefulness. 3) A scholar organizes and focuses the stream of information, creating an outlet for it to change the world. 4) We were made to be creative.

Transcript: One who is always learning but never producing might be likened to a stagnant pond. It has many inlets but few outlets. The information that flows into the pond is full of valuable nutrients. It has the power to clean and polish the rough spots of the unknown as it rushes by. Unfortunately, the story of its successful use of that power to help others ends at the stagnant pond. It becomes nothing more than an incubator for parasites and organisms that would suck the life and nutrients from it, providing nothing in return but more death and decay. There’s nothing law wrong, I should say, with being a learner unless that which is learned is not passed on or put in a practice. A healthy stream of information must have both inlets of learning and outlets of teaching or application. A scholar is the caretaker of that stream — the one who takes the information coming from many different sources and channels them into a powerful stream of organized thought that has the potential to affect change. A scholar might also take that stream and use it to blaze a new passageway through previously unexplored territory. Learning is good but scholarship makes that learning an operative tool to revolutionize the world for the better. So the question I have for you: are you a scholar? In other words, are you taking what you are learning — what you are growing with — and applying it and using it and helping others, teaching it and taking that information and massaging it and kneading it into, as God did with man, forming it into something that is beautiful, that has your fingerprints on it? We were made to be creative, because God is creative. We were made to learn and to grow and to become, so I would encourage you to find ways to learn and to grow on a consistent basis, whether it be reading or listening to podcasts or books, whether it be in conversation. However the medium or whatever the medium that you use to learn and to grow and to become, you want to then take that learning and growing and use it to be a better person for others or a more effective person in the world — a servant to others.

Equipping for Advancement: Kingdom Advancement through Education

Podcast Publish Date: November 11, 2019 – Click here to listen

Summary: Have you wondered about the appropriateness of formal education for Apostolics? Here we touch on the foundations of how formal education fits into the Bible-believing Christian’s life.

Main Points: 1) We are God’s ambassadors, called for a purpose, the funnel through which God works here on Earth. 2) We are responsible for developing the tools/talents God has given us. 3) We should be the head, not the tail. 4) We have the Spirit of God residing within us, but the flow can be throttled by our lack of personal development.

Transcript: We are Gods ambassadors here on earth. He accomplishes his purposes often through the frailty of our human flesh. That’s why it is extremely important that we spend the time to develop ourselves to most effectively allow the Kingdom to advance through us. Our ability to write, speak, think critically, compute, make inferences, be creative, etc., is the funnel through which God’s purposes are accomplished in our lives and immediate surroundings. We therefore have the great responsibility to sharpen and learn how to use the tools God has given us. Is it the will of God that Apostolics have a reputation for poor quality education? Shouldn’t we be the head and not the tail? Shouldn’t we be displaying the greatest fulfillment of potential of any people in the world, seeing that we have the Spirit of God residing within us? When we disdain formal education, are we perhaps throttling the river of information and knowledge that will help make us wise as serpents? There perhaps nothing with more power potential to shake the foundations of the earth than the combining of worship, prayer, and anointing with deep study and preparation. So I must ask you: What are you doing to advance yourself educationally, so that you can be most effective in advancing the Kingdom of God?