What I’m Learning From My Students, Part 1

by Andy Wood on December 19, 2012

in Half-baked Ideas, Insight, Leadership, Life Currency

Student ProfessorI’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, and this seems like a good time as another semester has drawn to a close.  Ever since I’ve been teaching on a college or graduate level, I’ve had the privilege of reading – and learning – from some pretty profound writers.

In this case, I’m not talking about the great books and journal articles I get to lead students through.  I’m referring to the papers and other written assignments that I have to grade.  At my peak earlier in the year, I was grading bout 25 papers a day.

As you may expect, most of the things I read are rather average, and some are, um, well, below average.  But every once in a while, somebody blows me away with their ability to creatively, powerfully express a truth.  Sometimes it’s just a sentence.  Sometimes it’s a paragraph.

Over the years I have collected my favorite student quotations.  So in the tradition of my “Half-Baked Ideas that I’m still thinking about,” I wanted to share seven with you.

Drink these in slowly.  Let them “bake in your oven” for a while.  You’ll be richer for it.


The work of ministry is as challenging as it is rewarding. I believe that we get weary not only from the rigors of the tasks, but because we fail to let God do the work. We are so busy doing the work, we leave the comfort and ease of the power of God. We exert all of our energy rather than relying on his strength. We tend to make the work about us, and less about him. I believe this is where the burden comes in. God tells us to exchange our burdens for his, “his burden is light, his yoke is easy.” Even in Christian leadership this simple Truth is overlooked…. We have left our first love, we have learned to the do’s and don’ts of ministry and do our level-headed best to avoid the don’ts and focus on the do’s and we forget to let God in it.

–Charles Awls


In a whirl of worldly busyness, it is easy to forget that Bible reading is an offering of irreplaceable time to the One who created us, not a task to be checked off a mile-long To-Do list.

–Xochi Dixon


The most important person I will lead is myself.

–Chad Sandry


In a world where conversations take 140 characters or less, mail is delivered electronically in seconds, and meals are cooked in a microwave and served from a drive-thru window, the long view is often seen as the distance from the drive thru speaker to the pickup window.

–Kyle Dellevoet


My spiritual journey, or better yet the absolute dredging of my soul back to God, was very humbling.  I had to learn how to love God when I did not know how to love myself, trust God when all I knew was hurt and pain caused by my own sinful nature, and allow God to teach me to let go of control.

– Selina Herndon


Jesus Christ is not merely my Savior but my satisfaction.

–Colleen Batchelder


My family has spent the last six weeks in my sister-in-law’s home. As I was driving to my temporary home one day, I was lamenting that I no longer had a permanent address.  The gentle voice of the Lord told me that I never would until I entered his presence and lived in the home He prepared for me.

–Jim Koenig

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