If you’re a pastor, I invite you to offer a public prayer. If you’re a layperson, I invite your personal prayers and perhaps a request to your pastor for the public prayers on Sunday. Please pray for our seminarians and their families who will receive their first calls into ministry this Tuesday and Wednesday. Some have hints where they might be going but no student will know definitely until his name is called out. “John Doe. Iowa District East. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.”
It’s obviously a time of high anticipation and of many fears. Not only where in the world are we going, but… Big town or small town? Sole pastor or multi-staff? Good schools for our children? An adequate salary? Any help as I begin to pay off student debt? A place for my wife to work? Close or far from relatives? What will the congregation be like? What will neighboring pastors be like? And these students have fears about being personally attacked. “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15). After the polite welcomes are over, will some parishioners and area pastors start stabbing me in the back?
This week we welcomed some 30 pastors to campus. They put on an event they named, “We Love the Sem.” They mingled with students, talked with professors, led chapel, put on a BBQ for the entire campus community, and talked about hands-on-ministry from their experience. We are deeply grateful for their realism, their encouragement, and their focus on Jesus Christ. “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Anticipation, fear…More than anything else, it is a time of Christ-centered hope.
So, please pray for these students. By the way, several seminary wives are expecting a baby and due this week. Can life be any more exciting?