Let’s start by stating the obvious. If you go to seminary you should learn the Bible, Christian doctrine, ethics, church history, Greek and Hebrew. This is really important work, the very heart of ministry preparation. There are things people serving in ministry need to know, and know well. Ignorant Christians in leadership are an embarrassment to the kingdom.
But most often, people don’t fail in ministry because of what they don’t know. They fail in ministry because they fail in self-management. I’m working through a devotional book by David Nasser. In today’s entry he talked about how David feel into sin with Bathsheba (adultery) and Uriah (murder) not by one intentional act of self-destruction, but by a series of compromises that started small and got larger.
No one talks about this, but seminary is a crash course in self-management. The one thing you are bound to meet in seminary is the pressure of multiple, unrelenting demands on your time and energy: God, family, ministry, study, work, etc. All of them are important… but you are only one person.
Ministry is exactly the same way. There is no relief once you graduate. The rest of your life will be managing multiple demands. This is why I use Triage as a metaphor for life management in ministry.
Last for today: the self-management habits you form in seminary are very likely to stay with you in ministry. Now obviously we can all learn and grow in it if we’re intentional. I’m encouraging you to be intentional from the beginning.
Think ahead. When you finish seminary and are in ministry, what do you think your daily priorities ought to be? Make a list.
Now. Are you living those priorities right now? If you “can’t” live them now, then you won’t live them later.