In 5th Grade I was told for the first time ever in my life that I would make a good pastor. Now if anybody knew me in 5th grade, that is probably one of the most surprising statements ever. Sure I loved Jesus and did well in religion class, but I was an introvert that would hide behind a sign if I had a speaking line for our class's chapel.
This fall I will be starting seminary through Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. The program I am entering is one designed for people who are already working in a context that they wish to continue to serve in as a pastor. In my case, I don't want to go to seminary only to leave my family and the church that I love serving. The Specific Ministry Pastor program, which is the same program our Executive Pastor, Joe Casiglia went through, is a four year program. Starting in September, I will begin participating in a cohort with several other men who are also seeking to serve within their local congregations as a pastor. I will immediately become a vicar and after two years I will be ordained as a pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and then I will continue in order to complete my final two years of the program.
I am very excited about getting to do this program and what it means for our church. As middle school minister I've already been able to shepherd middle school students in our church and seminary will only increase the ways that I am able to serve our teenagers and their families in our congregation. I'm excited that I get to do this and how crazy is that a little boy who would get teary-eyed and hide when speaking in public is going to get to be a part of our preaching team.