Didache fosters learning, community

The Jack D. Terry School of Church and Family Ministries recently launched Didache, a new organization that will foster community and learning in the school. The new organization hosted a brown-bag luncheon, Nov. 8, featuring Deron Biles, dean of extension education at Southwestern Seminary.

During the luncheon, Biles provided biblical insight for those who want to find success in “second-chair” ministry positions—that is, as they serve under the authority of another minister, such as the pastor of a church. He asked students five questions to guide them in their ministries:

First, Biles asked “second-chair” ministers, “Can you still lead even if you don’t get the credit?” According to Biles, students should heed the example of Aaron, who served as a “second-chair” to his younger brother, Moses, for many years. But, as recorded in the Numbers 12, God once rebuked Aaron for jealousy and for selfishly trying to gain credit for his own service.

Second, Biles asked, “Can you still submit even if you don’t agree?” He called students to pursue their ministries with an attitude of submission. They should always respect, support and pray for those ministers under whom they serve.

Third, he asked, “Can you still add value even if you don’t get your way?” Ultimately, students should remember that, if God has called them to serve in a particular position, then He intends them to make a contribution to the ministry of the church. Biles encouraged students to consider the example of Joseph, who “added value” whether he was a slave, a prisoner, or the second most powerful man in Egypt.

Fourth, he asked, “Can you still grow even if your position doesn’t?” A minister, Biles said, should constantly grow in his knowledge of and obedience to Scripture and in his relationship with Christ Jesus. He should constantly display a passion and commitment to serve and a desire for improvement.

Finally, Biles warned students to avoid ambition in ministry: “Can you still remain content,” he asked, “even if you never sit in the ‘first chair’?”

According to Waylan Owens, dean of the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries, Didache exists to foster community within the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries, while giving students more opportunities to train for ministry.

“Life at the seminary level has always been difficult and disjointed for most master’s level students,” Owens said. “Most of them have families. Most of them work jobs. Most of them are engaged in many different directions, and the ability to develop relationships, the opportunities to develop relationships are very limited.”

Despite their busy schedules, students desire to build relationships and to learn more about the ministries that God has called them to pursue. Didache gives them opportunities to do both. Through Didache, students will build relationships that “can provide support and strength” even after graduation.

To learn more about how you can get involved in Didache, call Chris Shirley, assistant professor of adult ministry, at 817.923.1921, ext. 3575.

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