#1 Sometimes no matter how hard you try you can still fail.
#2 When you fail, try again.
#3 Temptation will come, resist it.
#4 God must be amazing to create something as small as a brain and enable it to retain an such an abundance of information
#5 Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do in order to get where you are trying to go
#6 Sometimes professors are gracious, appreciate it but don’t abuse it.
#7 The older your brain is, the harder it is to learn a new language.
#8 A cheering committee is NECESSARY – discouraging moments will come, you can encourage yourself, and it’s also good to have a handful of people who will also encourage you. (I have huge appreciation for my supporters)!
#9 Color coding, attaching paradigms to the walls of your house, listening to audio versions of vocabulary, and taking note cards with you wherever you go (and I do mean wherever), whenever possible will make people wonder about you, but also help you get through the Greek experience.
#10 Never, ever, no never, ever – I repeat NEVER get behind and plan to catch up later! Playing catch up is for the birds and you don’t have wings! Avoid slacking off at all cost!
#11 Make sure that you eat well, sleep and exercise. It may feel like there’s no time for it, but making time for these things equips you to face Greek a whole lot better than you would by neglecting these practices. Trust God enough to take time out for self care.
#12 Pray, pray, and pray all the way through, and while you’re at it ask others to pray too!
Long list, but just think, this is only after ONE semester, with TWO more semesters of Greek to go! Lord…!!!
Speaking as a person who has some seminary education both behind me and ahead of me (Certificate in Urban Ministries, Master of Arts in Educational Ministries, and currently working on a Master of Divinity), I’ve observed some positives as well as some negatives regarding seminary education (not necessarily in this order)
1. Every Christian leader or aspiring leader should attend
2. It prepares individuals for ministry in a church context or otherwise
3. It qualifies one for pastoral positions within local congregations
4. All who attend have a general knowledge of the Bible and a deep enough level of maturity
1. You can meet and connect with some great ministry leaders
2. You can also meet some examples of leaders who behave in ways that you learn not to emulate
3. It can help you think more deeply and even dismantle some theological practices that you once held so dear but need to let go of
4. It can humble you as you become aware of how little you actually know/still have to learn
5. You can move from a place of being shallow to a place of greater depth as you preach, teach, care for people, etc rather than just repeat tired cliques and ‘churchy’ language and responses that you used to.
6. It provides the opportunity to consider and reconsider your “call” to ministry and define it more clearly
1. It can lead you to a place where God is no longer central in your life and ministry practice and beginning to rely on oneself rather than Holy Spirit power
2. It can lead to arrogance – believing that you are smarter and even more spiritual than those who have not been
3. You can study and learn church history and ignore current culture and eventually become irrelevant in your effort to do ministry
4. There exist contexts where your voice will be disregarded as that which is not credible or worthy of paying attention to without a seminary degree/theological training.
5. Moving to a place where you are reading so many books about the Bible and about God that you treat the Bible and God (by your actions) as though neither are essential for the life you live or the ministry you hope to do.
6. You can loose sight of the practical ministry practices that you possessed prior to going to seminary and begin clinging to theories that would never work/be effective in practice.
7. Concepts and teaching methodologies are not usually relevant to a diversity of cultures/ethnicities – can be very euro-centric at times (depending upon where you attend)
That’s just to name a few, are there others that I have missed?