Ministry Training

Newsflash: Personal Discipline Is Not Legalism

"The source of the problem, ultimately, is a general sense, born out of sentiments endemic in broader culture, and perpetuated at times in Christian homes and churches, that cultivating discipline and developing a work ethic are somehow dangerous, legalistic, or antithetical to the Christian Gospel. This is patently false." - Snoeberger 

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Learn to Pastor from Faithful Pastors and Healthy Churches

"One of the best ways you can prepare to pastor is by joining a healthy church and devoting yourself to being a faithful member. Whether or not a church offers you any formal training, a healthy church will incubate an aspiring pastor far better than an unhealthy one." - 9 Marks

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Six Reasons Senior Pastors Should Lead a Mentoring Group

"Ronnie was instrumental in launching Radical Mentoring at Southeast Christian, and he’s co-mentored two groups with their Senior Pastor.... I asked Ronnie why he thinks it’s essential for Senior Pastors to mentor, and he shared the following six reasons" - Kevin Harris

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‘You Could Go to Seminary!’

“You could go to seminary!”

I will never forget those words from my wife Lynnette—and she won’t either.

They were uttered as we were eating lunch one day in the spring of 1994, watching The Coral Ridge Hour from Dr. D. James Kennedy and Coral Ridge Ministries. The segment at the end of that particular episode highlighted the new Knox Theological Seminary, which Dr. Kennedy had begun and was promoting to his national television audience.

I was ending the second year of my first pastorate, in a small church in a small town in northwest Illinois, and had completed two graduate classes during that school year.

Lynnette’s words shocked me—and, I think, her as well. They also changed our lives forever.

At that moment, I knew I wanted to, and needed to, go to seminary, and began to look at the possibilities. These were the days before the Internet—the “information superhighway” which, we were told, would change our lives, as well. We did not even own a computer. Nor did we have the money or means to take cross-country trips to visit the schools of our dreams.

However, I did know that I did not want to move to a big city. I also knew that I did not want to simply follow my college classmates and friends to the same seminaries they were attending. I was willing to break new ground—and I wanted at least a slightly different perspective than I had received in college.  

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The Value of Training in Biblical Counseling

By Brad Brandt

Thirty-three years ago, the Lord privileged me to become the pastor of Wheelersburg Baptist Church, in Appalachian southern Ohio, where I presently serve. At the time, the church was 109 years old. I was 26 and had just finished four years of Bible college and another four years of seminary. I believed the Bible was the inerrant, infallible, trustworthy Word of God. I was committed to preaching it, making disciples by it, and equipping this precious congregation to live by it.

Then it started. People began opening up to me, saying things like, “Pastor, we’re having marriage problems.” And “Pastor, I’ve been told I’m bipolar.” And “Pastor, they say our child has ADHD, and we’re overwhelmed.” Then came the question, “Pastor, can you help us?”

I responded by listening, praying with them, expressing my concern and support, reading a Scripture or two, but that was about it. I sensed they needed more, but I didn’t know how to provide it.

Consequently, I saw a couple of things happen. First, some of the strugglers went outside the church for help. Unfortunately, though well-meaning I’m sure, this “professional” help typically didn’t increase the hurting person’s confidence in Christ, His Word, and His church. In fact, at times it undermined this confidence. A second outcome I observed was that some hurting people continued to limp along in isolation, receiving little or no help, convinced that no help was available.

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On Following Models in Ministry

I have learned from many different models in ministry.

These would include my own pastors, as well as all types of other Christian leaders.

Surely someone studying for the ministry should find, hopefully, more than one thing to emulate about each of his college and seminary professors. And, thankfully, that is my overwhelming testimony. In fact, my teachers have been some of the most influential people in my entire life (see Luke 6:40).

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Why Go to Seminary When the Fields Are Already White for Harvest?

By Jacob Elwart. Republished with permission from Baptist Bulletin © Regular Baptist Press.

In preparation for representing the seminary at a conference in Iowa, I have been reflecting on the ‘why’ of going to seminary. Why should a future pastor pursue a seminary education? On occasion, I’ll come across a college graduate who suggests that seminary is not for him. When I inquire as to why, he tells me that he has to get into ministry now because people are lost and dying. The implication is that the urgency of seeking after lost souls is more important than slowing down to get a seminary education. It is true that people are lost and dying, and that we should be urgent about pursuing the lost, but skipping seminary in order to rush into ministry would be like performing a surgery without any schooling.

If going into pastoral ministry were like working at a fast food restaurant, we should encourage as many young people as possible to skip seminary to go into ministry. But pastoral ministry is a high calling of God — less like flipping burgers and more like performing surgery. Working at a fast food restaurant requires minimal training and has few serious implications if the training is shortcut. Performing surgery is the opposite.

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