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I want to say especially to Brian Arnold, the new president of Phoenix Seminary, how thankful I am for his invitation to be a part of this installation service. I regard it as a great privilege because leadership in shaping the shepherds of God’s blood-bought flock will experience either the joy of a crown of righteousness for its faithfulness (2 Timothy 4:8), or a cry of anguish for its failure (Jeremiah 25:34).
Paul said to the shepherds of Ephesus, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). If shepherding is that serious — because the flock is bought with the blood of God — then how much more serious, more accountable, more liable to judgment for abuses is the shaping of that shepherding by presidents and seminary faculty.
Listen - Jeremiah
Listen to Jeremiah:
Wow. If shepherding is that dangerous, and shaping the shepherds is even more dangerous, why would I want to be a part of installing a man in such a role? Why would I call it a great privilege?
Dangers - Shepherds - Delights - Hebrews
Because there are not only dangers in shaping shepherds; there are delights. Listen to Hebrews 13:17:
Your leaders [shepherds] . . . are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Pastor - Advantage - Flock - Minister - Church
A gloomy pastor is not an advantage to his flock. An unhappy minister does not make a healthy church. Joy in the shepherd is essential to health in the sheep.
Therefore, the shaping of the shepherds is a happy affair. Or it fails. A seminary should be a joyful place of study and prayer and...
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