Seminary's Un-mined Treasure Part II: It's Students

by on October 23, 2008

About a month ago, Kari wrote a post talking about the need to mine the treasure that is the faculty at your seminary. I have also written on this topic and shared tips on how to mine this treasure. Kari’s post actually got me to thinking in a different direction: our fellow students are our colleagues in both school and ministry and therefore, we should look to them as well as the professors.

I have just recently come out of a season of much change and trouble. I have learned must about who I am in Christ and how much I still have to grow, but I have also learned that another resource we as seminary students have at our disposal is one another.

Personal Learnings

To give some quick personal background since my last post here at GtS, my family has moved (in the middle of the semester), I started elementary greek in seminary, I have basically gone head first into a children’s ministry with not much prior experience, and have had to deal with some major family issues with parents and such. With that as the background of the past month and a half, I have come to realize that I need to prioritize all that I am doing and have actually began the process of shedding some of my smaller responsibilities. I have also learned to rely upon my fellow students for advice, encouragement, and direction.

To Know or Not to Know

It is so easy to go through seminary and never get to know your fellow students. I cannot count the number of times I have run into someone off campus and had no idea what there name was or how I knew them. Most of the time I would eventually figure out that I had a class with the person but still had no idea who they were.

We are quick to say a meaningless “hello” or “How are you doing?” where we really do not expect an answer. I think it would be worth our while to get to know at least one new person in a class each semester. Perhaps it could be someone you sit next to or someone who you got notes from or it could just be a guy you have had a couple of other classes with. In any case, taking them to coffee or lunch just to hang out and get to know them better will do wonders for you and for them.

Praying

Another area to get to know people is asking them how you can pray for them. Inevitably, they will have a prayer concern that you can lift up on their behalf to God. There have been a couple of guys that I have been moved by the Spirit to pray for on my campus. They were usually someone sitting next to me in the cafe or in the study lounge of which I had never met prior to that day. In all cases, whenever I see these people on campus, I remember that I prayed for that person and I say another quick “generic” prayer for them.

Selfishly, I want as many people praying for me as possible. Your fellow students cannot pray specifically for you if you do not make your need known. Knowing that I have had numerous people praying for me in a specific manner (including the writers here at GtS!) has been a great ministry to my soul. There were a few days that knowing others were praying for me motivated me to get out of bed or go to class or just keep plugging away despite spiritual, emotional and physical exhaustion. Just having someone ask me how I was doing meant the world to me.

Personal Exhortation

I do not write the things I write because I am smarter than everybody else nor do I have it all figured out. More often than not, I am sharing what I have learned through my personal experiences-most of the time through failing. Many seminary students want to “network” with the professors because they are the men of influence here and now. I would exhort everyone to “network” and focus on the student body. They are the future of your denomination whether they are pastors, music leaders, professors, or denominational leaders.

Laying a foundation with your fellow students and ministers of the gospel today through prayer and fellowship will be huge in the years to come. I have already learned that from experience this semester. I can only imagine how this will impact any future ministry.

Comments

Amen! Jeff and I have been SO blessed by the encouragment and fellowship of the body of believers that is our seminary community. Attending things like chapel, Day of Prayer events, and seminary retreats (when possible, it’s not always!), has been a very recent thing for us, and has woven us into the thread of student life … and we’ve been so blessed because of it. Good stuff, Terry.

I like what you have said and agree with it. It is hard for me to put into practice because my schedule is very tight. I have class Tuesday-Friday and then immediately after class on Tuesday, Wed, Friday, I have to go straight to work… no time to talk to anyone. Thursday I am able to go to chapel but then it is off to work. If I didn’t have to “clock watch” in order to get the required 40 hrs in, then I might be able to do some of the things that you talked about. Funny thing, at the church I attend, which houses our seminary, we do not have a large number of students, but rather a smaller number.. Maybe one of these days, I would be able to get to know some of my fellow students better.

Terry Langes last blog post..Why do people depart from the faith?

Terry,

I understand completely. There are so many times I wish I could spend some time with a classmate or friend but just can’t because of work or family. There is usually some time between classes or just before the class that would enable you to get to know someone a bit better.

I have become pretty good friends with a guy this semester simply because we sit next to each other in Greek and then in the cafe for 20 minutes as we wait for our next class (different class for each of us).

I think if we are all proactive in trying to make lasting friendships, we will find that our seminary “careers” will bear much more fruit than just a diploma.

God bless you brother as you finish up your degree! I look forward to the day when we can get together again outside of an Internet connection.

Terry Delaneys last blog post..Car Broke Into—Again