The last night of the 2016 Baptist Bible Fellowship Fall Meeting in Cape Cod included two great speakers.
One speaker was a leading professor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The other a Kentucky born preacher who started and stayed in his church in Rhode Island for 40 years.
Vision That Changes World Learning
Near the turn of the new millennium, Dick Yue was given the task of leading MIT into online course study. Several other schools had already started using the internet to enroll new students. His Christian ethics and the vision of MIT, to advance knowledge and educate students, led him to suggest ‘Open Course Study.’ This would mean that courses would be offered free to anyone who could access them on the internet. Everyone was in favor and this started a revolution.
There are over 2,500 courses offered from MIT. This includes class lectures and notes, exams, online textbooks, and many other resources. It’s all free. It has been translated into many other languages. Today there are over 200 million unique visitors who use Open Course. Eventually, 400 other institutions followed their lead. There are over 20,000 courses offered from premier institutions at no charge to anyone who can access them. The hope is that one day the education of the best schools in the world will be available to anyone in the world.
You can learn more about MIT Open Course at https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm.
In 1993, the internet began to be used socially. Now 46% of the world has access to the internet. These ideas presented by Dick Yue have dynamic implications for the church. 86% of the people in unreached regions don’t know a Christian. The internet could be the tool to reach the world with the Gospel.
Vision That Changes People
In 1975 Archie Emerson went to Rhode Island and had a meeting with three people. This became Ocean State Baptist Church. Today, 40 years later, 1,000 people worship weekly. Archie challenged us with being ‘People of Vision.’
The nation of Israel had suffered defeat and their Temple was ruined. One man had vision to turn things around. Nehemiah was a man of vision. From Nehemiah 1 we discover three things about ‘People of Vision.’
1 – People of Vision are Needed.
Nehemiah had a great job. As the king’s cupbearer he was doing great. But when he heard about his people and his homeland, he was grieved. Calamity came into the calmness of his life. It caused him heartache. He could have just sat there. But he knew he must do something. He used his position to create change.
2 – People of Vision Purpose to Pray.
Before he could approach the king, Nehemiah would approach God. His prayer involved praise, perseverance (day & night), repentance (for his nation and himself), God’s promises, partners, and petitions.
3 – People of Vision Embrace Providence.
Nehemiah believed God’s promises. He knew God cared and God was in control. All of this was no accident. He trusted God and moved forward at the right opportunity. As he prayed for grace in the eyes of the king, he trusted in the ‘unseen hand.’
What vision from God do you have for your life?
You can about the other sessions: BBFI in Cape Cod 2016.