Friday ended the late registration for this semester, which means that this semester is now well on its way and you are in the classes you will be in for the rest of the semester, God willing.
As is the case every semester, my heart is not just concerned with your academic wellbeing, but with your spiritual wellbeing as well (btw – there should not be a dichotomy here, we are called to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind – Matt 22:37). So, as we start this semester I’d like to encourage y’all along those lines.
While Cindy [my wife] and I were at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, we had the privilege of having Dub Jackson, and his sweet wife Doris, as our neighbors. Many of you probably do not know about Dub, so I’ll refer you to a tribute written to him by a friend of mine on the occasion of his homecoming (A Tribute to Dub Jackson) and to a press release written at the time of his arrival at SWTBS. If you had had the opportunity to meet Dub, you would have been in the presence of a great evangelist, and one who I believe was truly endowed with the gift of evangelism.
As an aside, some would say that “rather than describe a spiritual ‘gift of evangelism’ bestowed upon a select few, Scripture presents evangelism as a spiritual discipline to be practiced by all believers intentionally and consistently.” I humbly disagree with the de-emphasizing of this gifting aspect of evangelism for, as I wrote many years ago, I am convinced that Eph 4:11 is not listing positions in the church, but gifted people in the church, and therefore the evangelist listed there is listed because s/he has the gift of evangelism. Yet, I do want to reemphasize that while some are particularly gifted with evangelism (as was Dub Jackson), we are ALL called to evangelize intentionally and consistently. This is the case with many of the spiritual gifts in Scripture; for just one example see the fact that Eph 4:11 mentions the gift of teaching, yet we are all called to make disciples, teaching (Matt 28:19-20).
Now, back to Dub. One of the many things I learned from Dub, is that evangelism is simple. Attributed to a variety of personalities, the idea that “evangelism is just a beggar telling another beggar where to find bread,” portrays a very simple truth. We as sinners were and are in need of Jesus and the message of the gospel, and so are the people around us. With that truth in mind, I do not think that Dub ever met anybody with whom he did not share the good news of Jesus Christ. Whether it was a government official in Japan while he was a missionary there, a dignitary while he worked on international gospel crusades, or the cable guy that installed his TV when he got settled in Fort Worth, Dub offered each the bread of life. There are a plethora of methods out there for how to share your faith, but ultimately, they are all useless if you do not do it.
So, let me remind you that it’s not school work or ministry, but it’s school work and ministry, and we are all commanded to make disciples wherever we have gone. May you be an obedient slave of Christ this semester in all aspects of your life, not for your sake, or my sake, or TMU’s sake, but for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus. If you are not sure where to start, ask a church member, a classmate, or a professor if you can join them as they minister, or contact our World Missions Center and get involved in the many move teams.
I look forward to hearing how God will be glorified this semester through our obedience, and as always, I am here for you if I can be of service.
Dr. Maël Disseau is the Dean and Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies for The Balthasar Hubmaier School of Theology and Missions at Truett McConnell University.Return to Blog Archive