I think Matt’s post was right on and I appreciated the thoughtful comments…
Here’s a suggestion for you pastors out there: Churches ought to give scholarships to academically and spiritually reputable Christian institutions of higher education. (Biola, Wheaton, Westmont, etc.) They pay the way for the student(s) deemed most likely to succeed and benefit from a college education. In turn, the church gets a 2-4 year commitment from the scholarship recipient to do ministry in the youth group or teaching Sunday school – something that would use the gifts he or she has obtained in university. The student would be paid minimally – as most people in ministry are.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this hypothetical church actually makes back the money it put out in the scholarship from happy parishoners who decide to tithe extra when they have just learned about church history, Christian spirituality, apologetics, exegesis of Philippians, or who have seen a major change in their teenager’s life.
I wish I were a pastor – I’d do this in a heartbeat! But it would take saavy to convince elders to divert resources to education as one of Matt’s commentors noted.