The depth of the ministerial task and the complexity of our age call for forceful training. And yet, I meet more and more students who are making degree choices based upon what has the least force. Along with this, too few churches and individual believers want to invest in the cost of training their future leaders.
Not everyone is a writer, but everyone communicates every day. Sometimes with precision. But let’s face it, often our language has more of the character of an unfortunate spill. And in seminary, it’s time to learn exactness.
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) has long been perceived as the gold standard of formal training for ministry. But an increasing number question its necessity for contemporary ministry.
What if we encouraged those in the pew, as we should in the classroom, to adopt a far more active stance? Imagine a church where the expectations for learning were far higher. People are not expected to simply take things in–but figure things out.
What is essential for a great preaching? Some say creativity, others story-telling, others cite the use of powerful metaphors, and still others point to the ability of a preacher to connect a passage to one or two practical applications. While such things are not inherently bad, it is my conviction that more important than any of these is one’s underlying approach to preaching. And, of the various approaches to preaching, I am convinced of the supremacy of expository preaching.