As a ‘tech guy’ and reluctant Bible College student Michael Wakefield might be a surprising candidate for a Master of Missional Leadership, but this isn’t the first time his boundaries have been stretched.
“I never wanted to do Bible College. I thought I knew enough. In 2002 all I wanted to do was to go to Papua New Guinea and work for the Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship, but the mission said I had to study at Bible College for at least one year. It turned into three, which I call my ‘Accidental Bachelor of Ministry’.
In PNG, I realised that a Bachelor of Ministry was the bare minimum I needed to do my job. I went to fix radios, but I ended up dealing with lots of other questions and issues.
We got back to Australia in 2019, and now I’m at college for a second crack, doing a Master of Missional Leadership. I’m sure some MST lecturers laughed when they heard about it.
I chose the course for three reasons. First, to process being thrown into leadership in PNG. I went out to do one job and ended up doing another one which I had no training for. Second, because we still feel drawn to cross cultural ministry. If we do it again, this will help me work better. Third, I like to learn. You can invest in your own education.
In the first class, the lecturer said, ‘Let’s define mission. Let’s define leadership,’ and my brain instantly started to stretch. What is mission? I felt like more of a missionary last year working in the mines than I was overseas! I think it’s important for people to realise your mission field is wherever you wake up in the morning.
I thought I would know a fair bit about the missional leadership subject, but every class opened up new areas. You are never aware of what you don’t know!
I went out to PNG to be a workshop manager, but then they needed a general manager. If you only do what’s easy and what you know, you’re not going to grow. God puts us in places for a reason. We can work to do the best job we can.
But you do a better job with the right tools.”