During my recent trip to Russia, John Musgrave paid me a compliment I value highly. He said that one thing he always appreciated about working with me was that I didn’t make a big deal about the fact I have more education than he does. I have two graduate degrees while he has an undergrad degree. He explained that some men he worked with made a big deal about who went to seminary and who didn’t.
I thanked him for the compliment and said that while I have titles, I am not overly impressed by them. I leave it up to the individual as to what they call me. The only place I am known as Dr. Wheeler is at Regent University where I am an adjunct professor teaching online courses. Everywhere else I am known as Mark or Pastor Mark.
One element of my approach relates to the concept of mutual submission. When I am in Russia, I submit to John’s leadership because he is in charge and I am there to serve. The level of education is immaterial.
I also recognize that my graduate degrees say more about my level of persistence than about my intelligence and qualifications. Having several degrees don’t mean I am any smarter, it just means I kept plodding forward until I reached the finish line.
In addition, I believe that true education often begins when school ends. John is a lifelong learner with a boatload of life experience.
Add all of this up and it leads to the conclusion that I view John as a peer and teammate.