I am absolutely terrified.
Tomorrow marks my first day as a seminary student at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. I am thrilled of course, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was scared. I am scared because I am about to get exactly what I asked for and it makes me very uncomfortable. Let me explain.
I have always been an introvert. Hand me a cup of coffee, a good book, and I will retreat for hours away from any living human being. This is not exactly a problem, but if not watched carefully can become one. This is especially the case for those who have a desire for gospel ministry. This is not hard to understand. Ministry is first and foremost about God’s glory, but secondly ministry is about loving, interacting, and sharing life with people. This includes getting the gospel to our unbelieving neighbors.
After graduating Boyce College I became aware that I was lacking in persistent evangelism and disciple making. So after two years I applied to Southeastern. I chose to do so because they advertise the institution as a, “Great Commission Seminary” where every classroom is a “Great Commission Classroom.” Consider the seminary’s mission statement:
“Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.”
In fact, during the first address to incoming students SEBTS President Dr. Danny Akin had the following as one of his points,
9. “Put no limitations on how and where our King might use you. Ask the Lord to give you the ability to truly pray, “Lord, why should I stay?” (Being Faithful To the High Calling of Christ)
Have mercy what have I done.
At Southeastern there is no room for academia for academia’s sake. The Bible is not an end to itself, but a means to love and know Christ. Furthermore, there is no room for those who do not want to be on mission now as they prepare for ministry. These people walk what they talk.
The introvert in me needs this place. I need brothers to push me to share the gospel, take initiative with my neighbors, and to be open to the possibility that God could send me anywhere.
So please pray for me. Pray that I would be disciplined in every class. Pray that I would be faithful with my time not ever neglecting to serve my wife with joy. Pray that as I grow in theological knowledge my heart will grow in doxological praise.
Finally, pray that God gives me a burden for my neighbor. That a love would grow in me that can only be expressed in sharing the gospel for the glory of God.
I am terrified and that is a very good thing.