News Articles


EDITOR’S NOTE: “From the Seminaries” includes news releases of interest from Southern Baptist seminaries.

Allen addresses “Persevering in the Ministry”
By T. Patrick Hudson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (MBTS) — Spring semester at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was welcomed by students, faculty, staff and guests at the Jan. 13 academic convocation.

Central to the service was a message by Midwestern President Jason Allen from 2 Timothy 1:1-7 and the signing of the seminary’s Articles of Faith by five newly-elected faculty members.

Of the importance of a convocation, Allen said it is a time when “we set ourselves apart in particular ways, commemorate and celebrate what the Lord is doing, and reflect through the regalia and other

aspects of formality in this hour of worship something of the grandeur of the task of theological education.”

Allen’s message, “Four Keys to Persevering in Ministry,” began a semester-long series on the book of 2 Timothy to be preached by faculty members and local pastors.

About the book of 2 Timothy, Allen said this letter from the apostle Paul to Timothy is about faithfulness — in ministry and within the local church. He added, “If ever the church of the Lord Jesus Christ has needed pastors and ministers that would press on in faithfulness, until they receive their reward from the Lord Jesus Christ, it is now.”

Allen noted sobering statistics about ministers experiencing depression, burnout, stress-related crises, feelings of inadequacy in performing day-to-day duties, and even leaving the ministry. Amid this negative news, what provides hope is that Christ has promised to build His church, Allen said, and for every minister who has gone wayward, Christ has raised up many more in strength and stature to serve His church.

“I know this — faithfulness and perseverance in ministry do not just happen,” Allen said. “It is something that you must pursue, strive for, and cultivate. It requires a great deal of intentionality day by day, year by year.”

Four keys to persevering in ministry, Allen noted, are to have a supportive mentor; a sincere faith; a strengthening call; and a strong spirit.

In verses 1-4, Paul’s love, affection and support for Timothy is clearly evident. Paul is clearly Timothy’s mentor, Allen said.

“So much of what Paul proceeds to say to [Timothy] is not just a word of admonishment, not just a word of rebuke or correction, and not just a call to ‘man up,'” Allen said, “but it comes with a full measure of love that Paul feels for Timothy.”

Allen suggested that everyone in ministry should have a supportive mentor, and not just in early years. At every phase in life and ministry, he said, it is crucial to have someone in that role.

“I say to you, if you do not have someone or multiple people like this in your life that you can look to, you are missing a key ingredient to strength and perseverance in ministry,” Allen said.

Second, regarding a sincere faith, Allen defined it as authentic, not synthetic; without hypocrisy and pretense; and true and real — being truly converted.

“If you are going to be faithful and persevere in ministry,” Allen said, “you better be very certain that your feet are solidly planted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not just theologically or theoretically, but you have seen the grace of God work in your life, and you are as confident that you are in Jesus Christ as a human being can possibly be. Why? Because if a minister does not have assurance of his salvation,
how on earth can he preach and serve with confidence and point others to that same salvation?”

Third, Allen pointed to verse 6 regarding a strengthening call, that one should kindle afresh the ministerial gifts God has given and entrusted to him.

“I believe this is telling us that the call to ministry, and God’s gift in our life, is not a static enterprise,” Allen said. “It is not merely something we experienced, felt or surrendered to in times past. It is living within us dynamically, and it is something that we should cultivate … and nourish.”

In his fourth point — a strong spirit — Allen said the church does not need weak-kneed ministers.

“Ministry is serious stuff,” he said. “It is not for the perpetual adolescent who just wants to coast through life, play video games, and go from one form of entertainment to the next without getting down to the seriousness of Gospel work. If you are in ministry, He has given you a spirit of power in the truth and Gospel. Ministry, after all, takes a little grit at times. We need a strong spirit that projects and
sustains our call to ministry.”

Preceding Allen’s message, five faculty members elected by Midwestern’s trustees in their October 2014 meeting signed the seminary Articles of Faith, which are the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

About this rite that all Midwestern Seminary faculty participate in, Allen said, “This is far more than a gesture or a ritual. It is a public statement that communicates what is believed in their hearts, their deepest convictions, and what they are in covenant to teach, in accordance with and not contrary to, to this community of learning and beyond.”

Signing the Articles of Faith were Jason Duesing, provost; Christian George, curator of the Spurgeon Library and assistant professor of historical theology; Matthew Swain, assistant professor of church music; David Sundeen, director of online education; and Sung Jin Park, dean of Korean studies and assistant professor of biblical studies.

Akin underscores “A Gospel for All the Nations”
By Ali Dixon

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (SEBTS) — Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary hosted its Spring 2015 convocation Jan 20 as President Daniel Akin welcomed new and current students to the first chapel of the semester.

He brought greetings from SEBTS students he recently met with in Thailand who are sharing the Gospel in difficult places.

“I am very thankful for a school that is so passionately committed to honoring the final marching orders of the Lord Jesus Christ … the Great Commission,” he said.

Akin spoke on “A Gospel for All the Nations” in an address drawn from Acts 10:1-48.

He described the passage as “a record of the Gospel of Jesus Christ going to the Gentiles and the nations. It is a radical and decisive moment in the history of the church.”

Those who seek the Lord will be found by Him, Akin said. Christians must take the Gospel to the nations, he said, noting that each of the 7.2 billion people on earth “is to be the object of our evangelizing passion.”

“God will raise up missionaries to get the Gospel to those who seek Him,” Akin said. “[The heart] is the only place where our God is colorblind. He sees all hearts exactly the same way: in need of a Savior.”

God does not show favoritism as He addressed Jew and Gentile relationships and prejudices in the passage, Akin said. “God seeks the salvation of all without partiality.”

Akin highlighted the exclusivity of the Gospel and the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who respond to it.

“It is clear the Lord has baptized them [Gentiles] by His Spirit into His family,” Akin said. “Barriers of race … ethnicity … nationality, they have all come crashing down through the power of the cross.

“The church would never be the same after this,” Akin said. “Sameness was never God’s goal to begin with.

“We have an indiscriminate, all-inclusive Gospel to proclaim to the nations near and far,” he said. “Our God has placed no limitations on those he longs to bring to Himself.”

To watch this message online, please click here.

To view photos from Convocation, please click here.

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