Multi-Ethnic Church : Discipleship/Education pt 4

Discipleship is only one level of education within the Church. The second level of education in the church is theological education of the pastor. I have quite a bit of experience when it comes to Theological training because I have attended 4 different Biblical Schools. So, why should a minister be educated? They need to be educated because the description of the minister mandates a deeper knowledge of Spiritual things.

Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”

The pastor is not only called to devote himself to the ministry of the Word, but also to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” Pastors are equippers. As a part of the ministry of the word, they must prepare others for ministry and provide ongoing care, training, and counsel for the minister-members of the church. I liken the training a pastor must receive like adding tools to your toolbox. The more tools you have the more jobs you can do, and the better you can do those jobs. Minister education is the ongoing process of learning new “tricks / tools” and means of working on people’s lives.

The traditional church has done an excellent job in requiring and providing theological education to the pastors. Discipleship for a pastor is often found in the halls and classrooms of the Seminary. This discipleship has extended beyond the campus for me. For my ethnic friends I highly suggest gaining a seminary education.

Why should a minister go to seminary?

If you are called you should be sharpened
Everyone that grows up in a church has views on everything whether they realize it or not. The Job of the seminary is to enhance those views, both by way of subtraction (getting rid of some wrong ideas) and addition (adding better ideas). Think of seminary as taking an existing axe then sharpening it to be able to cut things easier.

If you have been called to the office of Pastor (elder / bishop), then the seminary is a place to enhance your Spiritual gifts. Going to seminary will not grace you with any anointed preaching, teaching, counseling or leading “gifts.” If you are gifted then being trained by men or women who have learned that particular gift well will help you improve your capability as a minister.

If you are called you should know diverse views.
Some seminaries prefer to have faculty who all think alike. I’m 100% persuaded theological diversity, is possibly the best training ground for students. No two pastors think exactly alike and no two professors think alike. Having theological diversity (within some doctrinal constraint) could provide the pastor a better grasp of theological backgrounds other ethnicities may be coming from. A seminary graduate should be able to handle theological differences and simplify it quickly and help you think through the issue.

If you are called, credentials will help.
I agree that you can gain a theological education through other means, but gaining a degree can open doors that may not be open to you otherwise. For ethnic ministers this point may become the most important. I would like to remind anyone that gaining credentials is not the sole reason for going to seminary; the Calling is the most important reason.

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