June 5, 2017
We have been asking what it means to be “fully alive” to God and his kingdom’s purposes. In light of 1 Peter 4:10, we understand that a part of the answer lies in being “faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Every citizen of God’s kingdom is responsible for putting their gifts to good use.
I’m committed to being fully alive in the here and now. What does that mean? For me, as a student enrolled in the Kairos Project at Sioux Falls Seminary, learning is taking place in my context as a worship and student ministries director. Application of what I’m learning takes place immediately. In other words, being a student doesn’t preclude me from serving God until I have completed my Master of Divinity! Instead, my education and learning experiences are integrated with real-life ministry. I’m sharing the gifts that God has given me—now.
Just a few days ago, I was able to share something I had learned in Christian Worship with a member of my church’s youth group. She had a question about the differences between Jewish and Christian worship, and I was able to explain the reason for some of those differences by referencing what I had learned in class. While this may be a simple example, I have found that the intersection of learning, ministry, and life is an ongoing occurrence. I’m called and gifted to serve young people, and my studies at Sioux Falls Seminary are better equipping me to do so as I live out this call.
I reached out to a couple of my classmates in Omaha to learn if their experiences have been similar. Keith, who just graduated with his Master of Divinity, shared that “pastoral care education has impacted not just [his] life in the church and as a leader, but [his] entire walk through all of life.” He recalled organizing a pastoral care session after a friend’s recent surgery. Although his friend was in a hospital bed several states away, Keith was able to gather 20 friends and family to talk with his friend via Skype. During that time, Keith was able to nurture and provide care and facilitate healing for everyone, helping them voice both fears and love for their friend.
Nicole, who recently enrolled in the Kairos Project, is a fellow youth pastor. Her experience has been similar to mine. She shared that “Sioux Falls Seminary has given [her] the opportunity to process what [she’s] learning in an environment that makes [her] actually put it into practice.” She sees great value in having her journey of theological education integrated into her life and ministry. She added that, “What I love about Sioux Falls Seminary is that we’re given an opportunity to apply what we are learning. We’re not just getting a bunch of head knowledge, saving it for four years, and then going into God’s kingdom. We’re doing it now!”
For us, the journey of theological education at Sioux Falls Seminary is helping us become more “fully alive” as we share our gifts with others. I pray that God continues to work through my life and ministry and in the lives and service of my fellow students. I invite you to consider how God might be calling you to be a faithful steward of his grace. How can you put your gifts to good use, here and now?