Friday, June 30, 2006

Believers Loving One Another

This week one family in our church moved out of our community to go overseas as missionaries. For months they have been selling and paring down their possessions. Well, Tuesday was the day of the big move. They rented the smallest truck they could get and invited our church to help load up. That evening thirty people showed up at their apartment to load their things. It only took about thirty minutes to load it all! Their neighbors happened to be moving the same day. So once we were done moving our friends, all of us helped the neighbors load their truck for about an hour. The neighbors that were moving as well as others in the apartment building could not believe the love that our body showed them by laboring in this way. Now keep in mind, this was seminary housing so these were all believers. What was amazing to me was that believers loving one another in a real practical way was so foreign to other believers. May we never forget the impact that loving one another as the church has on those who are watching.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Being the Church (It's more than changing our terminology)

Over the past several years my thinking has changed on the concept of Church. I used to think that I go to church. Now I realize that I am the church along with they rest of the Body of Christ. Throughout this process of changing my thinking to line up with Scripture, I have seen the need to change the terminology I use when referring to the Church. I don't go to church, I am the church (at least part of it). However, there seems to be much more that needs to be changed than just my terminology. If I start speaking differently but continue doing the same old thing, then has anything really changed at all? (e.g. the emerging church, although they do add a few candles) My life must be conformed to the way the Scriptures say I should live. This involves how I relate to God and how I relate to others. Many things must change. This is good though because we are not taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth by continuing to do business as usual.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

One year from now I will be graduating from Southeastern Seminary with an M.Div. degree. Over the past three years I have developed a passion for Biblical studies, discipleship, and spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The question that has constantly been on my mind recently is "What next?" There are many avenues I could go down and many options I could pursue. My passion for Biblical studies has me thinking about pursuing a PhD degree from Southeastern. However, my passion for missions and discipleship has me wanting to be free of school to have more time for these pursuits. So I have been asking myself, in light of this tension, what God is leading me to devote myself to for the rest of my life. Will I continue working in the IT field as a means of providing for my family? Should I pursue a PhD in Biblical studies and seek to teach in a Bible college or seminary? Should I seek another bachelor or masters degree in a different field to equip myself to teach at a high school level as a profession?

One question I have been asking as well (I do not mean to offend here. I am only asking the question.) is the effectiveness of teaching in a Bible college or seminary. I do not doubt that the students of these institutions grow and mature in their faith as they study alongside their professors. The limitation I am seeing is that a Bible college or seminary will only minister to a limited segment of the general population. Typically it is those people who are "called to ministry" meaning those who see themselves becoming religious professionals. (Just a side note: All believers are called to ministry. Eph. 4:16) Since my desire is to be a part of discipling the whole body of Christ, I am having a hard time committing to a PhD in Biblical studies since it appears to lead naturally to teaching in one of these institutions. From what I have seen, the great things that are taught in a seminary rarely if ever trickle down to the common man since there seems to be a great divide between academia and everyday life. Well, enough rambling about this topic.

So if I do not go that route, then I am faced with what to do next. Maybe another bachelors in a romance language in preparation of teaching high school and developing relationships with students and their families. Maybe a masters in IT or business and continuing to work in the business world. Maybe a PhD in Biblical studies for personal edification. At this point only the Lord knows and I am thankful that He knows and desires to reveal His will to me.