What Seminary Doesn’t Teach Us

by Dec 1, 2022

I went to a great seminary for my theological education. I learned Greek, Hebrew, and systematic theology. I took classes in Christian education, Church history, and preaching. I truly have no regrets regarding my seminary education. However, my seminary did not teach me much (if anything) about disciple making. It’s hard to believe that my education taught me literally nothing about how to accomplish the mission Jesus gave His Church. 

When the training the majority of pastors receive does not include instruction on how to do the one thing Jesus told us to do, what does that tell us? When the leaders of the Church are not being taught how to fulfill the mission of the Church, that spells “trouble.”

Imagine the fate of any other organization when its leaders do not know its mission. Regardless of what type of organization it is, eventually the lack of mission clarity leads to chaos and decline. A professional sports team without a clear mission ends up with a losing season. A business without a clear mission ends up closing the doors. An education system that has lost sight of the mission ends up taking students down the wrong path. A church with leaders who have not been taught the mission ends up being busy about all the wrong things. 

Thankfully, God found a way to teach me the mission He gave His Church despite the deficits in my theological education. As a church planter, I started out with the goal of growing my church. That goal led me to a para-church organization that helped me understand how to grow disciples. And here is some irony for you – the influence of a para-church organization helped me understand how to lead a church to become a discipling making church, not my seminary. Now I lead a church and a church-based ministry (Impact Discipleship Ministries) to help other pastors and leaders learn how to lead their own churches to become disciple making churches. 

Over thirty years of pastoring has led me to the point where I know more and more pastors who are in the same place that I was originally. They want to lead their churches to be disciple making churches, but have very little understanding of how to do that. After thirty-three years of ministry, I certainly do not have it all figured out, but I have learned a few things. I believe it is important to share what I’ve learned.

Impact Discipleship Ministries is an attempt to share the things I’ve learned about disciple making with others. Through curriculum, training, consulting, and coaching, Impact seeks to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. We try to help churches become disciple making churches and pastors become disciple making pastors who can lead those churches. 

If we can serve you as you seek to make disciples in your ministry, please contact us. We are passionate about helping churches rediscover Christ’s mission of making disciples of all nations.

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