It’s not often that I use this blog to request personal prayer, but I’m doing that today. Today begins the new fall semester at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where I serve as Dean of Doctoral Studies and VP for Spiritual Formation. Dr. Danny Akin, our president, will be leading us in convocation at 10:30am.
I’m writing to request your prayers because my role at Southeastern has changed. My VP role now includes a focus on helping us make sure we are a praying, discipling campus as we prepare men and women to do the Great Commission in local churches and around the world. I have carried this burden now for almost twenty years – ever since Dr. Robert Coleman, author of The Master Plan of Evangelism, personally challenged me to spend my life investing in young leaders who truly know how to walk with God.
Frankly, I fear that Christian universities, seminaries, and even local churches are guilty of doing our work in our own power, turning to God for help only when we can’t first figure out the solution. We call folks to discipleship without really walking with them, and we talk about prayer without really doing it. Too seldom do our students and our church members see men and women whose lives long for God and whose hearts break for the lost world. We’re guilty, I think, of unintentionally promoting self-dependence that gets in the way of God’s using us.
That’s why I’m so grateful for Dr. Akin’s commitment to prayer and our faculty’s openness to follow his lead. We want to produce the strongest scholars and best-prepared practitioners, but we also want to lead them to be the most dependent prayer warriors at the same time. We want to graduate laypersons, pastors, and missionaries who are fully equipped for their tasks, but who do their work from their knees.
That’s where you come in. I know that no institution defaults into prayerful dependence. I know that all believers, beginning with me, struggle at times with prayer. Would you please take time today to pray for Southeastern Seminary as we chart our way for the future? Would you also invite others to pray with us and for us as well — perhaps by directing them to this post?
I thank you for being a faithful reader of this blog – but I thank you even more for your prayer support.