Ending seminary right

Chad Holtz writes at the Asbury Seedbed about the one thing most important to take away from seminary:

The great Scottish preacher Robert Murray M’Cheyne once said “The greatest need of my congregation is my own personal holiness.” I learned this lesson the hard way since getting my Mdiv, and have discovered it’s reality in the church I’m now privileged to serve. The people you will one day shepherd will not care what grade you got in church history or how many papers you had selected for peer review. They will care, however, about how well you know the Good Shepherd and that the authority from which you speak each Sunday comes not from book, but heart knowledge.

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2 thoughts on “Ending seminary right

  1. I thought the same thing for a long time. However, this does not seem to really be enough for today’s institutional church. Pastors who can grow churches are more important in the UMC. Holiness is way down the list of qualifications we seek in “leaders” of the church.

    1. John, thanks for sharing my article.

      Holly, sadly, I think you are right in many cases. Thankfully, there are exceptions to the rule you describe. My DS, who was appointed to the cabinet last year for no other reason than he loves Jesus, is one of them. He recently conducted interviews with all his pastors to ask how is it with our soul and what are we doing to grow in holiness. So refreshing!

      I think it imperative that we return to a fear of God over man, and determine that we will remain true to the gospel and trust God to grow what God will. If God sees fit to allow me to pour my life into 5 people or 5000, then to God be the glory.

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