Enhancing On-going Ministry Through Equipping, Encouraging, and Interceding

Educational Reflections with Deep Gratitude

I’ve heard my former student, Dr. Adam Greenway speak several times since he recently became the ninth President of Southwestern Baptist Seminary. Each time, he acknowledged professors who impacted his life when he was a student, causing me to reflect on my own seminary student days. I arrived at seminary with a combination of educational burn-out and non-specific ministerial career goals. Truthfully, I didn’t want to be there, but I knew God had called me there to prepare for a lifetime of service. So, I’ve been reflecting on Evangelism Professor Dr. Roy Fish, who taught me evangelism with compassion; Missions Professor Dr. Cal Guy, who taught me that even rock-like soil would produce if you watered it with enough tears; Old Testament Professor Dr. David Garland, whose pre-lecture prayers were often as good as the lectures; Biblical Background Professors who taught me you don’t know it, until you know it on the map; Preaching Professors who taught me that every sermon needed explanation, application, and illustration, and furthermore, to stand up, speak up, and shut up; Christian Ethics Professors who taught me to write fifty-word themes on controversial subjects; Pastoral Ministry Professors who taught me to be pastoral, whatever my specific calling was; New Testament Professors who, when they got to the book of Revelation, taught me that we would someday gather at the middle gate on the east side of heaven and discuss who was correct, if in fact, it still mattered then; Church History Professors who confirmed why I was a Baptist; Systematic Theology Professors assured me that we need to spend less time worrying about people getting their robes on over their wings, and more time concerned about people getting their pants on over their tails; Philosophy of Religion Professors who taught me that I wasn’t smart enough to ask certain questions yet; and the list goes on. Together, they taught me things I didn’t know that I needed to learn, and more than that, they instilled in me a passion to continue learning, as I departed to serve. 2 Timothy 2:15 became a graduation motto, as I continued to study to present myself “approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Third generation minister (as well as medical missionary) Albert Schweitzer, could have been writing about me when he wrote: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Were there persons who “rekindled … a spark” and “lighted a flame” in your life along the way? This might me a good time to reflect with “deep gratitude.”

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