By Rev Dr John Huffman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (notes on his chapel lecture on 29 Oct 2013)
1) Seminary can be the best place in the world to lose your faith…by becoming professional, by a casual familiarity with religious work, and by a purely academic approach to Scripture that doesn’t touch the heart.
2) The necessity of maintaining a daily devotional time, apart from professional reading, sermon and Bible study preparation.
3) The highest calling in the world is not professional ministry. Clergy are not elite individuals, but player-coaches.
4) You will never be more in ministry than you are today. Don’t live for tomorrow. Be faithful right now.
5) Get involved in an accountability/covenant group where you can share and pray, and never be out of one.
6) Simple trust in God’s word is more important than a highly sophisticated answer to everything (plus-you don’t have all the answers). This is not to minimize academic excellence, but strive to be a trusting, loving person who is close to God.
7) Spend time knowing the news and culture so you can relate to the world of the people you’re ministering to, so you can speak to where they’re at. Go native.
8) Be faithful to biblical/moral standards now—not when you become a minister. Seeds are being sown right now, and some might well shipwreck your life.
> Follow the Bible, using it as our only source of God’s truth, and our final authority. > Be practical and relevant to what’s happening in today’s world. > Use normal, everyday language. > Provide good, inspirational music. > Let visitors know they’re under no pressure to give money. > Be friendly, always.
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