One of the most valuable experiences students have as part of Living Education–Charlotte is that of listening to the Forum and Assembly presentations each week at Headquarters. The Forum each Tuesday and the Assembly each Thursday are part of the students’ regular class schedule. Every presentation has something different in store—a new speaker, a new topic—and often the information is presented in a creative and interactive way.
The Director of Living Education, Mr. Jonathan McNair, intentionally seeks out a wide variety of presenters for these messages, knowing that hearing godly instruction from diverse backgrounds, specialties, and personalities is of great benefit to the students. They may hear from Mr. Lawdi Ferreira in South Africa for one presentation and next hear from Mr. Peter Nathan in the United Kingdom, or from one of the many ministers in the Charlotte area. Each speaker is encouraged to address the topic of his choice, ensuring that the students receive heartfelt and well-researched instruction.
Summaries of these Forum and Assembly messages are available at LCGEducation.org. For example, we’ve compiled the following excerpts of such summaries written by Ryan Price, currently a Living Education–Charlotte student working part-time in the Editorial Department:
A Bit of What the Students Are Hearing
Mr. Michael Thiel is an entrepreneur in advertising, currently writing ads and marketing for nearly a dozen industries. In his Forum address to the Living Education students, he discussed aspects of entrepreneurship and what it takes to become an entrepreneur. There are many perks to entrepreneurship: you won’t be pressured to work on the Sabbath, you won’t have to worry about job security, and you will often be able to work from home. Of course, there are also downsides—you’ll have to pay higher taxes in the form of self-employment tax, you won’t be given health insurance or paid time off, and your income will not be guaranteed.
For another Forum message, the Living Education students got to hear from Mr. Jonathan Bueno, a Living University alumnus and a pastor in God’s Church. To help the students better relate to their local ministers, Mr. Bueno gave them insight into the ordination process and the responsibilities of an area pastor. There are many aspects to a pastor’s role, but Mr. Bueno effectively broke them down into teaching, counseling, and administration. This helped the students to better understand their local pastors and their relationships with them.
Mr. Josh Lyons, another minister and Living University alumnus, brought to the Living Education students’ attention that the Bible has many verses related to finance and wealth and that it gives us foundational financial principles of being balanced, being generous, and tithing. But he wanted to focus on some other practical tips for his message, so he spoke to the students about ten financial principles he hoped would help them in life. One principle Mr. Lyons spoke about was that of buying things used—a brand-new car, for example, will decrease in value as soon as you drive it out of the dealership. For many, buying used cars is a better option. This applies to furniture and appliances, too.
At the end of the first semester of Living Education, Mr. Gerald E. Weston asked the students a question: “How did you use your time this semester?” It seems time is always in short supply, but it is important that we consider how we use our time, for time is our life. For his message to the students, Mr. Weston addressed the fleeting nature of time and challenged the students to use their time wisely. He asked the students to consider how they spent their time over the semester—and, more importantly, what they will do with the time ahead of them. Developing good habits now, thinking about where our time goes, being circumspect, and making good choices with our time will lead to lasting success, both spiritually and physically.
A Multitude of Counselors
Presentations such as these give the Living Education–Charlotte students pertinent and thought-provoking information on a wide variety of topics, from credible and Christian sources. These weekly messages ensure that students receive instruction from teachers with diverse personalities and talents, which helps them see that—rather than expecting all His followers to be clones of one another—God takes delight in achieving unity among many kinds of people. Listening to Forum and Assembly messages also helps the students understand the many different facets of God’s Work, as they hear from those striving to accomplish it not only in Charlotte but around the world.
While the Forum and Assembly summaries available at LCGEducation.org are an excellent resource, any Living Education student could tell you that they are no substitute for listening to the presentations live. If you are a young single—age 18 to 30—and able to dedicate nine months to such in-depth instruction, please consider applying for Living Education–Charlotte next year! “In a multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 24:6), and the onsite students of Living Education have many and diverse counselors provided to them through weekly Forums and Assemblies.