Thursday, March 5, 2009

Singapore - Day Six Another Step Forward

Today was a little different. Instead of preaching in chapel, I lead and hour and a half workshop on "Missions and the Pastor." I was pretty amazed at the turn out. It was one of several workshops and I anticipated an intimate gathering of a handful but instead filled a large meeting room. I am progressively more clear that the seminary model of the past 50 years is a failed model because while it may have produced pastors that had a solid academic model, it failed to produce ministers that could effectively engage their congregations in God's work in the world. The hard reality is that almost 90% of American churches are declining (dying) and have no meaningful involvement in the fulfilling the call of our sending God. We have exported our model for theological training and the result in a remarkable number of pastors in Asia also lack a Kingdom vision. The workshop addressed this issue candidly and we talked about how to help pastors open scripture, open their eyes, and open their hearts to what God is doing in the world. I really appreciated the level of interaction from across national and cultural boundaries that I witnessed in the workshop. It seems that some joys and some frustrations cross the boundaries rather well.

The afternoon afforded me the opportunity to have another one-on-one conversation with two students about what God is doing in their lives and what God is saying into their lives. I am candidly amazed about how receptive the students have been to meaningful conversations despite the fact that I am only on their campus for a short period of time. This has been one of the great blessings of the week.

The late afternoon and early evening featured time with a valued friend and family in the city. It is always my joy to spend time with them. I finished the evening with a cup of coffee with a member of the faculty. I think that he will become a long term friend. I deeply appreciate the quality of the faculty and staff here. It is a great place to be.

The picture posted today is the building that I have called home this week. My room (the guest room) is on the fifth floor. It is the window you see just before the start of the balcony. It has been a good place to rest and rejuvenate for the week.

As I write this my family and the rest of the FBC OKC team is heading to the airport to fly this direction. It will be very good to see them.

Grace and Peace, Tom

1 comment:

1956okie said...

I LOVE reading about your days here, Tom. Thanks so much for sharing with us. I look forward each morning to checking in here.

You must be having a wonderful time, and when Beth and the others arrive, it will only get better.

Shari H