As I have served in Junior High Ministry at the Heights, I have been working on my masters in Christian Education at Dallas Theological Seminary. I have been struck by how much I have learned from both places. I am being trained not so that I can store up knowledge, but to give it away to other people. It has always been one of my dreams to be able to be trained theologically, but I think God placed that desire on my heart so I could better communicate truth correctly and lovingly.
Merging the two worlds has allowed me to realize some profound truths. One of the ways that God has allowed me to process some of what I was learning was through serving with junior high students. I will forever be an advocate for junior high kids because I think it is one of the most important transitions of life, but also because of how fun it is to spend time with them! I have tried to always keep students at the front of what I am teaching and doing.
Before seminary, I knew that training for ministry was important. Other than studying the Bible, training was the reason I decided to attend seminary right out of college. I believe that biblical training is important because it helps you have a season to ask hard questions and figure out what you believe. But I’ve learned that training does not happen just inside the walls of seminary, in fact, most training happens while working in the church. It has been so cool to watch God expand my understanding of His character as I’ve grown intellectually. But even more than that, I’ve fallen more in love with Him by learning to communicate His love and show His love to others through relational ministry.
“I’ve learned that training does not happen just inside the walls of seminary, in fact, most training happens while working in the church.”
In my classes, I have studied each of the books of the Bible, which has allowed me to see how the story of Scripture unfolds. Now whenever I communicate to students, I am able to have the overarching framework of the story of Scripture in mind. Knowing how the Bible fits together allows me to have confidence in teaching. But it also allows me to better minister to students because I can help them navigate their own story in a larger context. Knowing that the world does not revolve around our own story, but that we fit into a larger metanarrative keeps us in a proper posture towards God and others.
The Heights has kept disciple making as the core of my job description. It has taught me how to contextualize gospel truth to girls I deeply care about who are going through some tough stuff. I have been able to connect girls to serving in the church where they can go from dreaming about how they can make disciples to having opportunities to do that. I am so grateful for a church that lives out the Great Commission.
As I’ve discipled students and trained in seminary, I’ve grown to value intergenerational discipleship more than every before. The verse that steers my thinking in this way is 2 Tim. 2:2 “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” I have been able to live that out through relationships with junior high girls and I have been mentored by moms and women on staff in the church who have daily pointed me towards Christ and growing in His likeness.
As the saying goes, “discipleship is caught, not taught.” As we pursue Christ, people will learn to follow Christ by watching us live a life fully devoted to Christ.We can tell whether we are making disciples by whether or not they start making disciples. I have seen this played out through my time in seminary and working with junior high girls at The Heights. The motto at DTS is “Teach Truth, Love Well” which reminds me of our main focus in the work of the gospel. As I get married and transition out of my season at The Heights and in seminary, I pray that my ministry and the ministry there seeks to combine biblical truth with a life overflowing with the love of Christ.
Published on Dec 2016 @ 1:38 PM CDT