Wednesday, December 07, 2016

For Such a Time as This

This is not a post-election commentary.  Many of the challenges of living in the 21st century have nothing to do with elections, but they are connected to the way that people relate to one another.  We often forget that ministry is a people business.  We deal with buildings, budgets, and bureaucracies, but at the heart of ministry is people—inside the church, outside the church, and those passing through the church.

Theological education is about forming individuals who will work with people.  They may work in churches, education, community ministries, not-for-profits, or outreach programs but they all will work with people.  And people are not always easy to deal with!

People need to hear the Gospel.  People need to care about the world.  People need to serve one another. People need to find meaning and purpose for their lives.

That’s what ministry is about. 

Seminaries, divinity schools, and schools of theology develop ministers who will work with people.  The message they embody is needed now more than ever.

How can you help prepare these ministers?

First, adopt a seminary.  If you are a seminary graduate, you probably already have a school you care about and support with a good word and an occasional gift.  Perhaps you are estranged from your alma mater for some reason.  Find another seminary to support.  There are a lot of them looking for friends!

Second, let people know that the seminary you support is doing a good job.  Point out the school’s successes and impact.  Encourage them to give as well.

Third, help a student go to seminary.  Maybe you cannot do this personally, but your church can provide a scholarship for a congregant, staff member, an intern, or someone else who needs help.  Theological education is expensive and every bit helps.

Do you want to help people in these difficult times?  Support theological educators who are helping to form those that minister to people.

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