“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” — Mahatma Ghandi
At the same time this attitude that young people are ill-equipped to do the amazing things that ministry requires and be leaders in the church by nature of their being young is so prevalent. Insert any minority or people group into that sentence (LGBTQ, women etc.) and you’ve got someone saying it.
Seminary tells us that we are special people ordained by God to do things that are more special than what anyone else is doing. I call bullshit right here and now. Ministry is a wonderful thing, but we aren’t any more special or good than laity. We sin and fuck up and gossip and fight and we think we are special?
Jesus was special. He was different. When we start thinking that we are special and wonderful and MORE we get sucked into our own egos. We start thinking we have all the answers, that we deserve all the praise. But if we are to be leaders we should be leading in admitting that we are in fact the most faulty, and that only Jesus was perfect.
I am often wrong, but I think I am right about one thing, and it is a thing that burns brightly in my chest (although I suppose it could also be heartburn). Jesus teaches us that our little in-crowd of Christians is not the answer. Jesus worked best in a pre-Christendom world, so why should Jesus not work best post-Christendom? When we are the minority, we remember how to reach out to the minority.
The best thing about seminary is the opportunity. The opportunity to reach out, to change hearts, to find genuine Christian love, to turn tables, to say “I won’t be a part of the past but I will make the future.”