We have recently been described by a friend as “the boring seminary.” That tongue-in-cheek comment was his way of complimenting us for our resolute focus on our mission. We shape leaders who expand God’s kingdom around the world. We do that every day, without fanfare and without much interest in doing anything else.

Many Christians, including a growing number of Southern Baptists, seem more focused on other, supposedly more exciting and more important missions. They are mesmerized by electing the right political candidates, demanding action on social justice issues, or arguing their theological persuasion. They are addicted to their favorite news channel and glued to social media feeds which fuel their energy by relentlessly demonizing anyone who disagrees with them. Winning on their current issue is their mission.

Our Christian mission, at least as it was imprinted on me as a young pastor, is supposed to center on the eternal task of sharing the gospel with lost people, facilitating their conversion by every legitimate means possible, and then discipling new believers to the point they join us in repeating the cycle. That’s our mission—and it’s the only eternal mission worth giving our lives to accomplish. It’s the only mission that populates heaven; the only one with eternal results.

More than 50 years ago, a wise pastor told me, “If your church is not sharing the gospel and seeing lost people converted, you are not making an eternal impact. You may be doing many good things, but in focusing on those things you have become a social services organization or a political action committee. Jesus did not die to create a church for those purposes.” That pastor is now in a nursing home. The last time I spoke with him, he told me about organizing an outreach Bible study in his new home for people who are not believers. He was still narrowly focused on our core mission, no matter his current circumstances. As he has for all these years, his example inspires and motivates me to stay focused on an eternal mission.

If we are a boring seminary, it’s because we have chosen to stay focused on one mission: We shape leaders who expand God’s kingdom around the world. While we comment on many subjects, we fixate on one—the gospel. While we participate in many activities, we prioritize one—missions. While we measure our progress in many ways, we celebrate one eternal accomplishment—new people from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—professing faith in Jesus Christ.

Boring? Maybe to some. But not for us. We will stay on mission with the gospel of Jesus Christ.


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