Letter #2: Seminary is about the Church

by Jonathan Haefs

church1-150x150Dear Jonathan,

I am so thankful to hear about your seminary search process thus far…praying with your wife, family, and friends is a great place to begin. This will definitely help you to keep your focus on Jesus like I talked about in my last letter. However, right after I placed that letter in the mail I felt as though I left out one key thought…

Seminary is about Jesus, but seminary is also about the Church.

These two thoughts should naturally go together for the Church is the bride of Christ. They are inseparably joined, for he is the head and the Church is the body! It is ironic how often we try to make Jesus divorce his bride or we try to sentence him to decapitation! What I mean is this…we often think of pursuing Jesus as a private matter that in no way involves the Church.

I did not mean to encourage such a pursuit in my last letter. Seminary is in not merely about your private relationship with Christ becoming richer and richer. Yes…that needs to happen, but to what end? Why has God called you to seminary? I can promise you this…it is not ultimately for yourself!

You are headed to seminary in service of the Lord and his Church! You are being equipped so that you might equip the Church for the work of the ministry! Seminary should not have a selfish goal, but one that is sacrificially selfless. I have watched so many seminarians gorge themselves on the deep truths of Scripture only to become fattened with pride. To my shame, I experienced the same thing at different parts of my seminarian journey.

So what can be done? I think the greatest thing you can do to fight against knowledge that puffs up is to immediately use the knowledge for the purpose for which you are receiving it. In other words…share it! Teach it! Spread it!

Unshared truth turns toxic!

Don’t gorge yourself on truth! As you consume it, share it! Attempting to teach (in whatever capacity) within the local church will keep you humble, as teaching is no easy task. It will also keep your goal before you. You will be constantly reminded that you are not at seminary merely for yourself, but you are there for the Church. Jesus loves his bride…you should too!

Seminary is about the Church.

Grace and Peace,

J

*To know/understand the premise behind these letters please click here.

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