This article should make every seminarian be very careful to be sure they are on a good path to some level of self support. Consider the example of the fellow who went to Bible school, did well, then went to seminary and did well there too, then got a chance to speak and saw all that work go down the tubes…. And now he either works low level jobs or is chronically unemployed. While this may not be the case for all or most seminary grads, it happens to more that many might be willing to consider, and this is why I am not a big supporter of anyone getting a Bible college degree.
This article also does another one of two things, it either supports the reason for taking more than one preaching class in seminary if not making expository preaching the focus of the MDiv degree or…. It confronts the need to re-think the nature and purpose of church life altogether.
Either way, BIG BIG problems lie ahead for seminarians and those “called” to “the ministry,” at least, here in the US. I don’t think it necessarily negates the need for seminaries or for theological training just that I think seminarians are going to need to put on their creative thinking caps and put their heads together about how they are going to utilize their theological training to pursue God’s Kingdom to the ends of the earth.
Being out of work and out of ministry, and time talking with friends about how to move forward has given me time to think about things and has forced me to confront different issues. One of the questions is, do I want to get back into a more traditional pastoral ministry position or is there another way, a different way that I need to think about? Would that be a good way to go or not?
As I see it, the church in America and the way we go about doing church life in general seems to be not going in a good direction. Right now the church at large in the US is on the decline. People are opting out of church – and many of them are Christians. Can you imagine that? Christians being among the “unchurched” or “dechurched” in America?
I don’t have any answers or even any suggestions. I just sense a bit of scrambling and a sense of hurried-ness among many in church leadership as to what to do about the decline in the American church, and that isn’t a good thing. I guess one thing I do know is that we can’t just go on doing the same thing we’ve always done because, then we’ll just go on being frustrated by the results, which is to get what we have always got. Keep doing what you have always done and you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got! Perhaps the Emergent church got a lot of hard knocks for its theology, but I think they saw the situation of a declining church and things that aren’t working anymore and were attempting to provide some solutions. Did they fail? I guess so. Better to have tried and failed than to have never tried right? Who else is trying? What other solutions are being put forth and found to be working? So many questions with few if any answers and lots of suggestions.
So, take this to heart and let me know what you think.