"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Conviction from Grad School

I spent last week at Harding for a one week intensive course for my Masters degree that I will receive in May. Since this graduate program is mostly online, it’s always a blessing to sit face to face with classmates and professors. This year, we had students from Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Florida, and even Suriname! This course is entitled, “Theological Foundations of Ministry”. Throughout the week, I heard many lectures that made my mind spin in a sea of “isms” and “ologies”, but our professor, Dr. Bill Richardson, began the course on Tuesday with a quote that has convicted me forever—“Theologians who don’t engage in ministry aren’t good Theologians, and Ministers who don’t study theology aren’t good Ministers.”

It’s powerful to ponder on the deepest thoughts of God, but if we never leave the fortress of the classroom or library, we miss the purpose of our study. Jesus, the greatest theologian to ever live, still said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) It’s also powerful to be involved in the lives of people and minister to their needs, but if we don’t academically build a foundation on the precepts of God, we simply form earthly friendships rather than eternal bonds. Jesus reached out to the poor, marginalized, and broken, but Jesus still said, “…Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

What is your vision for the Kingdom and its mission? If you only peek through the lens of theology, your vision is lacking. If you only gaze through the lens of ministry, your vision is blurry. Remember, “Theologians who don’t engage in ministry aren’t good Theologians, and Ministers who don’t study theology aren’t good Ministers.”

Study. Minister. Succeed.