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One framework from Social Work that helps to differentiate the work of Philip from Paul is examining their respective levels of intervention, from the micro to the macro (Acts 8-28, especially 20).
As the eldest son of Filipino immigrants, I am keenly aware of my educational privilege. I teach Social Work at not just any state university but at one implicated in the US colonization of the Philippines as “Our Little Brown Brother.” My cousin remarked, “You teach at a school that would not even admit me.”
Privilege - Opportunity - Tomorrow - Leaders - Moment
Perhaps the biggest privilege is my opportunity to train tomorrow’s leaders. My proudest moment was visiting a former student on the mission field. I witnessed him implementing some of the strategies for community engagement not in a classroom but in the Southern Philippines, with the Tagakaulo, a remote mountain tribe. He showed me the phrase book his mission recently completed, a glossary of Tagakaulo terms, defining them next to their English, Tagalog, and Visayan translations. One of the older women praised the work – “Thank you for preserving our language and culture.”
Paul’s Farewell as a Social Work Pre-test?
Philip - Evangelist - Paul - Church - Planter
Philip is an evangelist, Paul a church planter. Although their roles overlap, in Social Work they could be considered examples of micro practice (interpersonal counseling) and macro practice (nonprofit management, community organization, policy and evaluation). For many years I supervised graduate interns, including international students who intended to establish nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in their home countries. It occurred to me that I could assign Paul’s Farewell to Ephesian Elders (Acts 20:13-38) as a pre-test: What in the text might be helpful in your planning for an NGO?
Hopefully the intern will identify some of Paul’s starting points. He personally recruited members for his NGO (through evangelism), an activity requiring interpersonal skills (Acts 20:18-21). Once recruited, it appears Paul selected...
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