The longer I am involved in ministry, the more I am convinced that leaders who deal
in eternal business must possess eternal resources to perform that task over the long-term.
Pentecostal leaders must acknowledge the challenge that the world values style
over truth, yet is thirsty for an eternal connection. We are good at events
or visible displays that we are people of power. Yet we are not exempt from the reality
that a deep walk with God relationally (that John 15 pictures as a vine and branches)
is our only hope for bearing fruit (effective ministry) over a lifetime.
The challenge for the spiritual formation of leadership while studying at AGTS has
never been clearer. Cultural shifts, disintegrating social systems, and aggressive antagonism
toward Christian faith are the realities facing Pentecostal leadership. Spiritual formation
is not just a pathway for dedicated disciples; neither is it an instantaneous
experience that immunizes us for a lifetime. Spiritual formation is a central reality
for all followers of Jesus Christ. It is non-negotiable for AGTS students who sense
Gods clear call on their lives. Second Corinthians 3:17, 18 talks about the journey
toward Christlikeness. That process goes against the very nature of American society.
Our world values the ability to be in charge and to control ones environment.
Instant gratifications, or at least victories after great effort, are clear expectations,
while spiritual formation and the transformation of our life into Christlikeness reverses
these cultural priorities. This radical shift requires a movement from valuing our own
performance to relying on Gods workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).
church requires leadership that is passionate about God and rooted in His redemptive
President Byron D.
The commitment of AGTS is to provide a pathway by which spiritual formation is not
merely an addendum to pursuing a degree. We believe our effectiveness as a seminary
is directly related to devising pathways by which our students attain the deep rootedness
necessary to help people connect to eternal resources. A basic truth conveyed in Deuteronomy
6:6-9 is simply that you cannot convince people of your faith if it is lacking in your
own life. AGTS must make sure our graduates are branches integrally connected to the
Henri Nouwens classic, The Living Reminder, is a deeply convicting book
for me. Nouwen basically asks church leaders what impression they leave people with
when, as leaders, they are not physically present with the people they work with. What
reminders linger with those we love when we are not physically present?
Nouwen says, Once we have heard, seen, watched and touched the Word who is life,
we cannot do other than be living reminders
what counts is not our lives, but the
life of Christ in us. Only Christ can break through human alienation and restore broken
connections with each other and with God.
At AGTS we are committed to developing leaders who have deep roots
to Jesus that is continually empowered by the Holy Spirit. The eternal business
that Pentecostal leaders participate in can only be energized by eternal resources.
Jesus Christthe same yesterday, today, and forever.