Theology is not abstract ramblings about how many angels can balance on the head of a needle. Theology is a pastor’s greatest ally and most useful tool.
I was interviewed recently by a young seminarian, Nicholas Noyola.
As I reflect on my seminary experience (over 20 years ago), I often remark on all the things seminary DIDN’T teach me. But now, after decades of experience, I have come to realize that it’s impossible to fully equip people for everything they are going to face in ministry. There’s so much that one must learn through real-life experience.
However, I’ve also come to appreciate the solid theological foundation that seminary provided me.
While in seminary, I remember thinking, “How’s this going to help me pastor my people?”
Little did I know.
Theology influences EVERYTHING I do and every decision I make as a leader.
Here are a few of the ways theology undergirds my ministry.
- Theology is what you say when the godliest Christian you know isn’t healed.
- Theology is what you say when that Christian tells you they’re getting divorced because God wants them to be happy.
- Theology is what you say to that couple who’s been trying to have a baby for years.
- Theology is what you say when that person tells you God can’t forgive them.
- Theology is how you respond when that person says they’ve begged God to take away their sinful desire, but it’s still there.
- Theology is what compels you to forgive someone when every fiber of your being wants to hate them.
- Theology is what causes you to let go of all this world offers and choose to live differently.
- Theology is what you say to the family who’s just lost a loved one to suicide.
- Theology is what keeps you when your feelings fail you.
- Theology is how you respond when someone tells you, “love is love.”
- Theology is how you respond when people backstab you, malign your character, question your motives, or walk out of your life.
- Theology is how you process pandemics, presidents, and politics.
- Theology is how you respond to that comment or post.
- Theology is what you say to a grieving family who just lost their child.
- Theology is how you respond when that attender tells you church membership is unnecessary.
- Theology is what determines your values and sets your priorities.
- Theology is how you treat people of other genders, races, and views.
- Theology determines what friends, spouse, and career you choose.
- Theology is when you give grace when you’d rather give grief.
- Theology is when you take the high road, the narrow path, and the uphill climb.
- Theology is what the Bible says, not what I think or feel.
- Theology is what compels you to stand when the whole world is against you.
- Theology is what keeps you going when it seems your ministry is insignificant.
- Theology is how you finish the race.
What would you add?