Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thank You Before Goodbye: Redeemer Seminary

A few nights ago, I shared my "student testimony" at my school's annual fundraising dinner. Aside from the typical jitters of saying anything in front of 500 people, I was really blessed by the opportunity to thank the people who have made such a difference in my life and the lives of my friends. It will be really hard to say goodbye to this place, but getting to say "thank you" first is making it a bit easier. 

Here's an excerpt: 

"...I'd summarize it like this: at Redeemer, I’ve been informed, and I’ve been formed. The program is academically rigorous and has equipped me to engage in settings I never before thought possible...I am confident that I truly needed every single class I took in order to prepare me for what lies ahead.

And yet in every single class, I was taught that true preparation for ministry goes far beyond having the right information. My professors have shown me that my calling as a minister is not to be puffed up with knowledge, but to be confident in Christ and His love; to believe that He is the great treasure and I the jar of clay; and to take up my cross and follow Him, no matter what. See, for all its academic rigor, Redeemer has ultimately been a school for my heart. Another student summed it up like this. "Here are some lessons I learned at Redeemer: Weakness is better than strength. Love is better than knowledge. Grace is greater than all my sin. Hope is deeper than my despair. Story is bigger than systems. Christ is brighter than everything." I shudder to think what would have become of us as ministers if we had not been given a chance to learn this." 

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