Greg Atkinson: Don’t Go To Seminary

Wait. Hold the phone. Don’t stone me, yet.

Allow me to share with you my heart and where I’m headed with that title. I’ll tell you my thoughts on seminary and continued education later on, if you stick to the end. Make sure and read the entire post before you jump in to comment.  

Our Worship and Arts department has five interns, two college students and three Dallas Theological Seminary students. Four of them I get to spend time with and invest in. Three of them I spend a little more one-on-one time with. Two really get the most from me and one is someone I spend a lot of time with—my intern and friend, Jonathan Moon.

Jonathan graduates from college this year with a degree in Cinema and Television. Am I encouraging him to join our staff at Bent Tree? No.

Why? Because that would be selfish of me and short-sighted.

Yes, he could continue to crank out video projects for our church, but the truth is we can find someone else to create videos.

Jonathan’s passion and dream is to be a producer in Hollywood. So, as his boss and mentor, what do I do? I push him out the door.

We are a sending church. I’m constantly saying, “When you’re in LA … ” “When you change Hollywood … ” “When are you going to visit and stay with my friend, Cynthia Ware, and spend some time with my friend, Phil Cooke?” 

Enough about me, my intern and our situation.

Here’s what I’ve felt and thought through for YEARS:

Why is it when we see a young man or woman that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit, has a solid prayer life, devours the Bible, is clearly walking with God and “on fire,” we automatically say, “You need to go ‘into the ministry’?”

Our warped view of “ministry” means that they go to Bible college and/or seminary and become a preacher, minister or missionary.

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Greg Atkinson
Greg Atkinson is an author, speaker, consultant, and the Founder of the First Impressions Conference and Worship Impressions—both specializing in guest services and hospitality.