Today, for Leadership Journal, I interview Owen Strachan, former director of the Carl F. H. Henry Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and current Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College. Strachan is also the executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Strachan is an extremely gifted and often provocative writer. I’ve enjoyed his essays on sports, manhood, and a variety of other subjects. One of the questions I asked him was the question I typically ask my interviewees:
You’re a college professor. What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to a young man or woman considering a full-time ministry commitment?
I can’t give just one coherent thought. Sorry.
1) Read up on Luther’s self-sacrificial “theology of the cross” as opposed to a self-exalting “theology of glory.”
2) Read Eugene Peterson’s The Pastor and take away from it a deeply counter-cultural ministerial spirit, one grounded not in numerical success or contextual benchmarks but in love for God and love for people.
3) Commit yourself to reading theology now, and promise never to think that theology and practice are disconnected. When tempted not to deepen your understanding of Holy Scripture through reading and study, remember that obedience to the First Commandment involves loving God with your mind.
4) Tie your flag to the gospel mast, and don’t ever let the culture or anything else alter biblical truth.
5) Have a bit of fun. Root for the Boston Celtics; run a marathon; roast your own coffee beans. Enjoy God’s good gifts. The best ministers are those who seem like, and upon closer examination actually prove to be, real people.