More information about this initiative for training elders HERE.
“Packer said (in 2006) that there are “10 Disciplines for the Minister-Theologian to master:
2. Biblical Theology
3. Historical Theology
4. Systematic or Dogmatic Theology
9. Liturgy (study of worship)
10. Ministry (dealing with souls by preaching & walking with sheep, etc.)”
(Photo: WDnet Studio)
“Young preachers, new preachers, preach bad sermons.
They preach bad sermons as they learn to preach good sermons.
And in some ways, those bad sermons serve as a mark of a church’s health and strength because they prove that the church is fulfilling its mandate to raise up the next generation of preachers and the one after that.
They prove that the church refuses to be so driven by a desire to display excellence that they will not risk the occasional dud.
They prove that the congregation is mature enough to endure and even appreciate these first, messy attempts.
There is hidden beauty, hidden value, in these bad sermons.”
(Photo: Pierre Rougier)
“Its one of the things that annoys me about the cult of the mega-pastors.
Those are pastors that most students admire, but they are not the pastors most students are going to be.
They’re going to be hammering away in the back and beyond somewhere with 50 to 100 people.
And that’s going to be it.
It’s going to be a long hard haul with not much encouragement.
And that I think is an expectation that needs to be drummed into students somehow fairly early.”
(Photo: PLRANG Images for design)
“I never took a class on how to deal with abortion, homosexuality, pornography, atheism, etc.
I understand how to biblically defend why all these things are wrong, but having a conversation with someone who has just had an abortion, is a completely different thing.
We never stop learning;
we are never “ready for ministry”.
We are in constant need of the Holy Spirit and godly mentors in our lives that can shepherd us through difficult issues.
My seminary training was priceless, but it is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning.”
(Photo: Dimitris Kritsotakis)
“Seminary’s exist—or at least they should exist—to train up future pastors for the work of the ministry.”
“The successful minister is one who faithfully lives for Christ and faithfully teaches sound doctrine as an approved workman who is not ashamed because he rightly divides the Word of God.”
So when choosing a ministry training programme, the question therefore to ask is:
“What seminary can I choose where I will be (a) discipled in the area of personal character and (b) trained to understand and teach sound doctrine?”
Within this meeting we also set aside 30-40 minutes to discuss one of the reading assignments he has been given.
The conversation is structured around 3 questions:
1. What is the book about?
I ask him to give a brief summary of the book – what is the main point being made.
2. What do you want to remember?
I ask him to pick out 3 to 5 (or more!) key things that he wants to remember.
John Piper’s quote “Books don’t change people, paragraphs do – sometimes sentences” is helpful here.
3. What do you want to discuss further?
I ask him to raise anything he’d like to talk further about – it could be something he didn’t understand, disagreed with, or wants to think through how it applies specifically to the ministry context we are in.