Over the years I have developed three promises I repeat to my students. They are promises that have resulted from truths I have learned about the ministry and about myself. I find that if I will make these promises up front, alot of trouble is saved later. So here they are:
- I am going to teach the Bible. I don’t know a lot about culture or fancy methodologies. I am not the “Youth Guru.” I do not know how to plan things perfectly. What I do know is: I love the Word of God and it changes lives. So I will always teach it. It is perhaps the only thing I am confident that I know how to do. Teach the Bible. I promise my students that I will teach the Bible. While I will fail them in every other way, I will teach the Bible for what it says and I will strive to do this well. When faced with a difficult passage I will tell you that it is difficult and then I will strive to teach it clearly. Knowing God through His word will be our work here.
- I am going to fail you. There are a number of modern pastors who wear capes and fly around the world saving their congregations from catastrophe. I am sure, their administrative faculties and abilities afford them the ability to leap large controversies in a single bound. They are faster than a speeding rumor, and stronger than a local gossip. Fire shoots from the eyes when they preach and they meditate while practicing levitation and visiting the sick. They are supermen and I am sure they are out there. I am not one of those. I am a simple man who does not always get everything right. I respond poorly, I fail to see errors that are abundant, I have been caught up in rumors, I have denied grace where it should have been given, I am not Superman. I am going to fail you. Do not put your trust in me, I am a horrible god… that trust is reserved for Jesus: the One True God. He will never fail, but I already have. Trust Jesus. And, when you are able, give me extra grace, Lord knows I need it.
- Jesus will be LORD. I promise that when the Word of God says we are going to do something, I will strive with all that I am to lead us to do it! We will work hard to obey the commands of Jesus in our ministry. Jesus is Lord and therefore we will strive to live like it. When you see me falter on this command, remember number two.