Bootleg…Reached A Ceiling…More Training

Originally Posted Sunday, July 31, 2011

After teaching the word at Strong Tower At Washington Park today, I had the feeling that I had reached a ceiling in shepherding.

Some of you athletes and professionals can relate to this…where you feel like you have reached your current potential and you want to do more with what God has given you.

Lately I’ve been looking at Marine documentaries. There are a number of things these documentaries highlight about the training of a Marine. But there is one that sticks out to me…the Marine soldier is trained to be mentally tough.  I LOVE IT! This resonates with me as a former quarterback at Alabama State University.

That night, my wife said to me, before we went to bed, “Honey, I think you should go to “Marine Boot Camp” for preachers (Seminary).” Now, she always thought (as well as several others) it would be beneficial for me to go to Seminary but I never felt the “need” to go. I always felt that Seminary could be a helpful tool in helping pastors serve better…but I never felt that it “made” or validated a pastor. Those who feel Seminary is the “only” means for a pastor to be trained and greatly used by God are sorely mistaken. Some believe a pastor that is not “Seminary-trained” would be equal to a “bootleg” (not the real deal) pastor. The Scriptures, on the other hand, communicate that Holy Spirit, the True Teacher, will “train” you to be effective in His kingdom. The apostles in Acts were seen as guys who were “bootleg”, unschooled men with no formal training, that had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). Surely, they were the real deal.

For some reason, her encouragement that night, spoke to what I had felt immediately after teaching His word. I want to give more to His people. I’m convinced that I will not go away to train in a traditional sense…4+ years full-time in Seminary away from the people God has called me to serve. This training will have to be a training that will allow me to serve the Washington Park Community at the same time.

Please pray for me that God will lay out how He would want me to train. Whatever the training will look like for me in being a great shepherd for His people, 

I am committed to training. 

The moment we stop training will be the moment we stop growing and developing.

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