Conversations With a Teaching Fellow

In my New Testament Survey class I have a few interactions with my “teaching fellow” that I must do.  Already they’ve been the subject of a couple of posts.  This last one was interesting, so I will reproduce it in its entirety.

I’d like you to integrate this course (NT501) with your future ministry goals.  For example, is there anyone you look to in the NT as a role model for the kind of people-focused ministry you are interested in?  Or is there a particular passage that serves to guide your ministry desires?  Take this in any direction you wish, just tell me how the NT can play a role in your future ministry.”

This last question seems rather difficult, perhaps because it’s so open, or maybe because I have such a fuzzy picture of the future.  I admire a good number of people who appear in the New Testament as well as the authors who wrote certain books.  They influence me greatly by their example in what they wrote and how they obviously lived.  Then of course Jesus is a model to us all…

As someone who converted when he was 16 from an anti-Christian atheism (wow I’m in the 3rd person) I feel a particular affinity towards Paul and his conversion story.  I grew up in California liberalism and was for the causes of secularism, globalism, and choice that mark our liberal societies.  I adamantly pursued these goals against Jesus and yet when I found Christ, I realized how I was persecuting Him unjustly in a lot of ways.  My life changed and I was called into ministry, and now I feel called to the lost, and hope to fight for their salvation.

However, now I look at Peter, his betrayal of Christ, and how Christ built him up to be a rock for the Church.  Again, my life is full of turning from God, and Christ being gracious enough to not only forgive, but to build me up to ultimately serve God to the greatest capacity (I hope) I can.  I am passionate about the Church and the building up of this Body that Christ established.  Unity and Strength coming from humility and service are the pieces of Peter I hope to emulate.

Then, (and perhaps more oddly) I look to James.  The language in his book is peppered with biblical allusion, the words of God are his own, and his arguments are a hard-hitting summary of what life in this Body is really all about.  It’s difficult to hear, but I’m impressed that he knew God so well.  Hopefully, the things in the Bible will become so much of me, that what I say sounds oddly familiar because it’s what God has put on all of our hearts.

Finally, I look at John, (or Juan, as I am) and I see someone “Blessed by God” who considers himself beloved of God and I am grateful to be in good company.

Are there any people you look to in the NT?

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