Dr. Scott W. Sunquist, Professor of World Mission and Evangelism, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has written a 2-part article for the Presbyterian Outlook that actually says the same things I have been trying to say to those who would listen for few years. To read the articles you can follow the following links: The Dangers of the Unconverted Seminary, part1 and The Dangers of the Unconverted Seminary1,part ii.
While there is a lot more to the articles (and really, you should read them!) the best part for me was the fact a seminary professor is willing to say the same things that I have been saying about our seminaries – they aren’t really preparing men and women to be pastors! As the author states, “We spend far too much time on questions that, for the most part cannot be answered.” We need to have men and women who love the Word, and will they learn to love the Word if they don’t even KNOW the Word?
When I did my exit interview from NCPC, the Committee on Ministry wanted to know my “secret.” How had I been able to take a congregation that was about to be closed and have nearly triple in size and become the second largest giving congregation (per capita) in the Presbytery? Well, guess what? There is no secret. I simply preached the Word of God and got out of the way! We live in a time where pastors are looking for the quick fix or a new program that will do the work for them. As Paul told Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:14-17). The simple fact is that if we preach the Word, it will do the work, but if we preach anything else, we are fooling ourselves and cheating our congregations.
Gotta go for now….I need to get into the Word for this week’s sermon!