Magazine article The Christian Century

Connected to God, Connecting Others to God

Magazine article The Christian Century

Connected to God, Connecting Others to God

Article excerpt

WHAT WE WANT theological education to look like depends on what sort of church we want, and on hat we think ministers are for. Do we want highly trained leaders who know how to lead, recruit and motivate? Or do we want pastors and priests who know God, and know how to connect other people to God?

The church in the Western world has been in a steady decline for decades. Congregational numbers are falling, and mission is not as effective as we [night wish. It would be easy to look to the ministers of the future to solve these problems. Shouldn't we train the next generation of ministers to reverse the trend and refill the pews? Shouldn't students spend their seminary years learning to communicate the faith in culturally relevant ways and not waste time on outdated theology or church history? I'm not so sure those are the right questions. In our concern for cultural relevance we must beware that we don't produce sociological experts who have only a thin grasp of the heart of the faith.

If we want pastors and priests who know what it means to catch a glimpse of God and who can enable others to catch the same vision, then we must create the space for them to engage deeply in theology--not just as an intellectual pursuit, but contemplatively and practically too. We are called to worship God with mind and heart, soul and strength; if pastors and priests don't know how to do this, they may be equipped to fall a building, but not to build the church.

We can learn something from those who are disillusioned with the church. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.