THE PROBLEM WITH SEMINARY

I live in a seminary world.

My fellow pastors at Bethel are some of the most educated and brilliant folks I've had the privilege of spending time with. Each week, I see first-hand how an intense seminary education bears fruit.

Maybe you've heard the joke about how hard it is to survive seminary with your faith intact, but that may more fact than fiction. And lately, I keep seeing the scary reality of this when I hear newly graduated students talking about the state of the Church.

To my eyes and ears, it seems as if the seminary system produces pessimists. Tweets and blogs and conversations with seminary grads seem to all have a common theme.

"The church is in trouble."
"Things are terrible out there."
"There's lots of wrongs to be righted."

I don't disagree, by the way. I think the church at large is serious business. I also believe we need smart, zealous people to protect the Church as she continues to be infiltrated by narcissism and greed.

But we need excited people, too.

It's my hope that seminaries are building joy into their students as well as sobriety. Maybe schools are doing this, but it doesn't seem like it in the seminary blogosphere.

(Not that seminary students have time to write blogs...but they do tweet. A lot.)

As worship leaders, we can help our pastors fight negativity. We need to encourage our senior pastors. We need to remind them that there's no more joyful, contented place that serving where God wants you. We need to be the voice of reason. We need to help our leaders to balance the enormous weight of pastoring a church with the fantastic joy of making the biggest impact possible on human lives.

Serving the church is hard. But it's also awesome. And we should be doing it joyfully.