11 December 2018

13 October 2018


In addition to holding classes during the school semester at EABST, we also meet to hear preaching in chapel twice a month for several reasons. One is that we long to convey to our student body the sense of weighty joy that comes with the pastoral calling—weighty because on that final day we will be held accountable for those in our care, and joyous because we strive for an eternal reward, not a perishing one. We also want to give our students good examples of biblical exposition. Preaching, like many other skills, is much more difficult to learn without seeing it done well. Another reason we like chapel is that it serves as a reminder that what we are learning about the Bible can never stay in our heads, we have to pursue the work of the Spirit to change our lives with what we learn and to use us as instruments for the change of others.
Frequently guests from around Nairobi come to speak for us during these chapel times, but we as faculty and even our upper-level students take opportunities to preach too. I spoke recently on prudence from Proverbs 22:3. Pictured above is one of our students encouraging us from 1 Peter 1. His reminder was to see the present challenges of life in light of the eternal hope we have in Christ, "an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away" (1 Pet 1:4). What a joy to be a part of God's curriculum for these men as they seek to serve Christ's church and spread the fame of his name in this city of Nairobi and among the nations!

31 August 2018

Counseling and Church Life

The second term of 2018 is well under way. While every term we seek to equip men for the ministry of the word, the line from life and study is particularly clear this term. I'm teaching three courses this term: Methods in Writing, Counseling, and Church Life. Perhaps I'll take some time in another post to highlight Methods in Writing, but for now I wanted to tell a little about Counseling and Church Life.
We have been talking in counseling class how biblical counselors are shaped by the Bible in at least two fundamental ways. First in the area of authority, the biblical counselor must have his thinking shaped by the gospel as revealed in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are our sufficient and authoritative guide on this narrow path to glory. They show us both the means and the end. To the extent that we're guided by the wisdom of this age in these matters we will fail to see our road and destination clearly. Second with respect to goals, the counselor is not seeking merely to address the problems of the one who has come for counsel. Those difficulties such as choices about the future or marital strife are important issues to handle, but more fundamental and lasting is the person's relationship with God—an area where we as counselors need grace just as much as those being counseled. This reminder is one way my time in the classroom is equipping me for ministry in my local church.
Another class is Church Life. We're excited about this course in practical ecclesiology because we believe it's one of the most important and useful that we offer at EABST. Here we're working to shape current and future churches in line with Scripture. The Bible sets out for us clearly the roles and responsibilities of pastors, deacons, and church members. It establishes the church's identity and sets the church's agenda. Unfortunately in all of these areas we're so prone to substitute our own ideas, so it's a privilege to dive down deep into the Word for reminders and correctives.
Please keep praying for us as we seek to be and equip men who love the church for the sake of Christ's name among the nations.