(Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Seminary - Part 2)
Have you ever gotten yourself in trouble, because of you? There are times when our personality or character, and our management of them, can get us in trouble. Pride, personality, morality, anger and relational issues are just a few examples of things that can land you in hot water. Most seminaries do not offer specific studies to teach you to how to cope with such issues.
Editor’s Note: For the next three months we will share a 10-part series entitled, “Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Seminary,” written by Tim Patrick. These articles will be interspersed with other articles of interest.
Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Seminary – Part 1
When I was twenty-one I finished college. At about the same time I submitted to God’s call to ministry. This was an interesting transition. My college training was in agriculture! I must admit, I knew more about agriculture information than the Bible. Seminary offered special training that enabled me to make the transition from agriculture to ministry.
The title of this article seems to represent the thoughts of a liberal thinker. That is not the case! It was Jesus’ apostles who had these thoughts! Yes, Jesus’ handpicked, chosen apostles/disciples. Consider the context. After the resurrection a group of ladies, “Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women” reported the empty tomb to Jesus’ disciples. (Luke 24:10) The first response of Jesus’ disciples was that the report was “idle tales” (KJV) or seemed to be “nonsense” (HCSV). In fact, the disciples were unmoved by the report. The Bible tells us they did not believe the report.
One of the most discouraging seasons of leadership is when people will not follow. Such disheartening situations can be the actual facts or they can be our perception of the facts. Regardless of the reason we need to examine the cold hard facts of this problem.
I recently presented a new idea concerning the youth ministry at our church. I used the following protocol in presenting the idea: I presented the idea to my pastor, then to the youth workers, and finally I met with the parents. After working this process my ideas flew to a successful destination.
Who has influenced your thinking as a Bible student? Up until the time I went to seminary, I had accepted an interpretation of Revelation based on my religious training and heritage. At seminary I adopted a new interpretation of Revelation based on the teachings of a professor. The professor greatly influenced my thinking.
Have you ever been guilty of making assumptions? I am tempted with this dangerous act almost every day. How does it play out?
My last name is Patrick. I am of Irish descent. Irish folks are given credit for being impatient people. That certainly holds true in our family. My grandfather was not a patient man. My father was not a patient man. I have struggled with patience. The roots run deep.
Last year my wife and I built a new home. While we were building we also dug a small catfish pond. We have been excited about this new venture (the pond). Each afternoon we feed the catfish. We can almost see them growing before our eyes. We anticipate the day we catch our first fish. Recently I made two mistakes that, due to my inexperience, almost killed our fish.
How do you handle frustration? Notice I did not say, “How to Avoid Frustration.” When you serve in ministry the question is not “if” but “when” you face frustration. It is a daily companion when working with people.
When I think of frustration I am always drawn to Moses. We get frustrated dealing with 50, 100, or 200 people. This is not to minimize your frustration but to magnify Moses as a learning model. Moses had to manage a whole nation. WOW! There came a point when his frustration caught up with him.