The Mushy Middle series: on ministry

a series of posts on politics, church life, culture, theology-discipleship, and ministry

It seems that it’s not only the mushy middle in church life, culture, and theology, that are being pushed out, but also the mushy middle in practical ministry.  It used to be that young Christian men and women would only consider attending the seminary of their own  denomination.  Today, this has all changed.  Generations of young Christians entering the ministry today want to pursue entry into whichever seminary/bible college will teach them to innovatively and effectively participate in God’s mission.  They are not satisfied in merely maintaining the status quo, as much as, they are desiring to deepen the faith of their people, to be the salt and light to others in a culture of darkness, and to evangelize greater society. The status quo in most of our mainline church-run seminaries are not working because we have lost our missional focus (or have never had one)–and as I said before–our churches are languishing or dying.  This sense of not having a focus, passion, and purpose for mission and evangelism does not sit well with the mushy middle.

Prior to starting my Continuing Education (C.E.), I struggled over whether I should do my C.E. in a Lutheran setting, for which I have been grateful for in my M.Div.  After prayer and consultation with people I trusted, I decided to do my C.E. in practical ministry at an evangelical seminary due to the expertise and knowledge of its instructors, its history, and its reputation for innovative ministry and leadership training.  ( There’s my plug for Acadia; and if you’re interested in knowing how I am experiencing the D.Min. program at Acadia Divinity College (located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia) feel free to contact me via email ).

My point in this post is this.  The mushy middle in practical ministry also seems to be in the process of being pushed out.  Seminaries stuck in yesterday’s world of ministry, and that maintains the status quo is ‘on the out’. Today’s generation of young Christian men and women called into ministry seek cutting-edge education where they teach bold and innovative ways of discipleship and evangelism that will work effectively in today’s post-modern context.  Wishy-washiness should no longer be tolerated.  It’s time to say “bye bye” to the mushy middle attitude.

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