I’m excited to participate in this new Talking Points blog! I will be engaged in this conversation primarily as a practitioner, a pastor who spends a lot of time thinking about and engaged in the practical issues we face in the Church. My role at GRTS though—working with and mentoring future pastors; planning and coordinating our Talking Points conferences—offers me a unique glimpse at what the seminary has to offer. I love the interplay between the seminary and the Church. It’s a vital partnership that yields fruit for both sides when done well.
As we begin this new blog, we want you to know what to expect and give you a sense of what we’ll be writing about. We will write two posts per week (Mondays and Wednesdays) aimed at two primary audiences (although we welcome anyone to join the conversation who is interested in the intersection of theology, culture, and vocation).
AUDIENCE #1: PASTORS AND MINISTRY LEADERS
Every other Monday, we will write for pastors and ministry leaders who serve (on staff or volunteer) in churches and various kinds of ministries. We will offer biblical and theological content that impacts preaching, discipleship and mission in the church. We will comment on best practices in applied ministry settings (maybe you could contribute your best practices to the conversation!), and we will offer perspective and advice on challenges or issues you may face in your church.
The role of the pastor and individual congregations in society is critical, and we want to support the Church as we navigate this together.
AUDIENCE #2: COUNSELORS
Every other Wednesday, we will write for counselors who desire to integrate a Christian worldview into their practices. Currently, our largest degree program is the Master of Arts in Counseling, and we want to continue to serve graduates and others in this vital vocation. We will offer theoretical perspective and practical advice for effective counseling practice. This may include issues related to licensure, legal matters, ethics and how to integrate the Christian faith as a counselor, and more.
We believe counselors play a vital role in coming alongside pastors and ministry leaders to provide expertise and professional wisdom, especially related to ministries of care and discipleship.
ADDITIONAL MINISTRY RESOURCES
In addition to vocation-specific content, every other week we will feature content that will provide a window into the life of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. We will highlight what our professors are up to, offer book reviews and keep you updated about events and other educational opportunities coming up on campus.
This blog will also expand the live conversation at our Talking Points conferences. We will provide previews of the conference topics, interviews of key speakers and raise questions to stimulate thought and discussion. Then, we will continue the conversation after the conferences are complete to keep the learning going.
Many worthy topics will never be the focus of a Talking Points conference, though, so this blog will provide space to engage those issues as well. Important topics are endless. As our society and culture changes around us, we want to call and equip you as congregations and individuals to respond in a way that clings to the truth of Jesus Christ and both announces and embodies the Gospel faithfully.
Let’s get started …
We invite you to post comments, attend events and offer suggestions on future topics. As you do, you will help to shape the Talking Points conversation. Who knows, we may even ask you to write a guest post to highlight the good things God is doing in your setting to help others! Just remember to observe the Community Guidelines as you participate.
What topics would you like the seminary and our professors to address? What resources could we provide or discuss that will support your vocation?