This week I'm going to take some time to share some thoughts that have been stirring in my mind from seminary. Now I know that over a month ago I was ready to quit seminary but this month has been very good for me in my studies and thinking about what I am gaining from seminary that I never thought would happen!
This last Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at my favorite church in the country; South Hills Church in Henderson, NV. I have been on staff at SHCC for over six years now but this was a cool Sunday. I was able to kick off a three-week series on the book of Jonah. Now something that was a huge blessing to me was having my best friend there, Mark Salazar, to see me preach.
Mark has been key in my growth in my walk with Christ. Mark is like a "Barnabas" to me. He has been there through so much and we have both grown in ministry greatly over the last almost eleven years I have known him. I think that Mark is the kind of Christian man that every pastor needs in their life.
After church Mark brought his family over to my house for dinner and some hang time with the family. While he and I were sitting at the table he was very encouraging about how my speaking style has grown (Mark has known me for a long time). He was stoked to see how well I handled the text, how I enunciated my words and how I made sure to engage the crowd. I was so encouraged to hear that from Mark and get that affirmation from him.
I thought about it and I never thought that seminary would help me in my preaching at much as it has. I really give a bunch of that credit to Dr. Rod Casey and the course he taught last summer. I think that course has helped m with my communication style in a huge way. Rod helped me to get my thoughts together, to keep the message to one main point and to not be scared to leave great wisdom on my desk that just didn't fit into the message. I guess I just never expected that seminary would help me grow in my preaching as much as it has.
Here is the message if you want to judge for yourself