In 2008, after nearly two decades rallying God’s people to participate in his work, I felt God leading me to go from serving one ministry to serving many. I wasn't sure what that would look like. I prayed daily and, for the most part, heard nothing. After months, I felt God say, “Gary you are done here.”
Each generation of Christians has struggled with a perceived split between the sacred and secular. At face value only a select number of people have holy, churchy jobs; most people have profane, worldly jobs. Yet this is only an appearance. In God’s economy every job is sacred and secular.
Today we look at the idea of developing people as they pursue their calling verses simply education them. Have you heard the saying, “the learning must be greater than the change”? My doctoral advisor would say this whenever we would give a pat answer to a complex question.
Last week we introduced a five-part series that is challenging some of the commonly held beliefs about the educational process by sharing why theological education should focus on developing people to live out their gifts. This week, we explore the changing nature of pastoral ministry.
What if theological education isn’t about developing people for the “job” of pastor but rather about developing people to live out the gifts they have been given? What if the “job” of pastor as traditionally understood is no longer the best way to describe that role? Is it time to rethink the role of education?
We have been asking what it means to be “fully alive” to God and his kingdom’s purposes. In light of 1 Peter 4:10, we understand that a part of the answer lies in being “faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Every citizen of God’s kingdom is responsible for putting their gifts to good use. For me, as a student enrolled . . .
Partnership is a very important aspect of our work. We believe God calls us to create integrated systems of theological education by honoring the work others do and recognizing that there is much we can learn from others. By partnering with others, the wider church is blessed through enhanced access to theological education.
This past Saturday, we celebrated the 159th graduating class of Sioux Falls Seminary. What an exciting time! We came together to mark the culmination of each student’s journey and to rejoice in the new season of life into which they are entering. Our focus on what it means to be “fully alive” seems fitting.
We walk alongside those God places in our care as we help them “use whatever gift [they] have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). This includes individuals in relation to our work in theological education and in counseling services.
Seminaries have seen a number of variations in the types of students that they serve, including variations in denomination, location, age, purpose of enrollment, etc. We believe it is vital to understand who God is calling us to serve so we might walk alongside those God places in our care.