A United Faculty of Pastor-Theologians
At TMS, you not only study on the campus of a local church, you study under the men who lead it. Each year our faculty sign our robust doctrinal statement, because we see no separation between sound doctrine and faithfulness in ministry.
Humility is not just acting like you are nothing special. Humility is knowing you are nothing special and acting accordingly. As a seminarian your “significance” will be challenged. You may have been the “best and brightest” in your church and at college, but seminary is where all the “best and brightest” come! The temptation will be to try to make up your significance- deficit. Rather, help yourself to find your significance where it really is—in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the end, my question was: What do I want to invest my life into? Will it be a Christian context or a secular context? In either, I could work for the glory of God. The question was how will I glorify God? Using my education and gifts in a context where men come to study the Bible and then go back into the world to spread the gospel was where I believed I could use my gifts most effectively for the glory of God.
The means by which the Lord is working out his purposes in redemptive history at this time is through the local church. As a result, we might infer that a very good use of time would be to make an investment in the local church. Indeed, we could form a bridge from scriptural precedent to individual application by saying that one of the most worthwhile decisions you can make is to give your time to the ministry of the local church. In this way you are deciding to place yourself at the heart of what God is doing in redemptive history at this moment.
The pastor is not the mediator between God and man. Because of their position, sometimes pastors think that they are in a place that is different than the people to whom they minister. That is not a biblical understanding of our position before Christ. There is only one head of the church, Jesus Christ.
The lost in our world and the members of our churches need to hear the word of truth cut straight. If we truly believe that the word of Christ is necessary for true conversion to take place, then a misinterpretation of that word—a substitution of our voice for God’s voice—has awful significance for the hearer. If we truly believe that the saints are sanctified by the truth of the word of God, then a misinterpretation of that word—a substitution of our voice for God’s voice—will be a dangerous impediment to their growth. They will suffer consequences, and so will we.
Don’t think that your ministry is useless because the only people you’ve led to Christ have abandoned the faith. You should expect to encounter people like this. There is no difference in the seed. There is no difference in the sower. The difference is in the heart that receives it, and you can't control that. Success in ministry boils down to one thing—Faithfulness. That's it. Faithfulness to do God's work, God's way, for God's glory