Resources on Tips for RTS Students

Tips for RTS Students: Start the School Year Strong

By Charlie Wingard · June 11, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Summer orientation at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson  is this Friday, June 14. To our new Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Counseling students, welcome to our campus! I serve as RTS Jackson’s Dean of Students. You should know that any time my door is open you are welcome to come in and talk. My office is located on the second floor of the Dean Center. If it is an emergency, I can be reached on my cell at any time. My number is posted at the foot of the stairs to my office and in the student handbook. New and returning students are invited to dinner at Patterson’s Porch on Friday June 14 at 6 p.m. My wife,…

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Thoughts on Mentoring

By Charlie Wingard · May 23, 2019 · 0 Comments
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I serve as Director of Field Education at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson. Part of my work involves talking to students about their relationship with their pastoral mentors. Since 1987, I have mentored men preparing for ordination. While serving on Boston’s North Shore, I served as a mentor for many men in the Gordon-Conwell field education program. Before coming to RTS, I employed men pursuing ordination. Mentoring has been a major part of my pastoral ministry. What follows are my thoughts on what makes a good mentor. I am acutely aware of my own weaknesses as a mentor. Much of what follows I learned from my own mentors and have sought to put into practice, however imperfectly. One of the…

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Evidences of a Call to Ministry

By Charlie Wingard · April 30, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Every Christian denomination would do well to heed the prudent advice of AME  bishop Daniel Payne (1811-1893):   “Whenever a young man comes forward, and tells us that he is called to the ministry, let us examine him rigidly, according to our excellent discipline and the requisitions of God’s word. It is not enough that he tells us God has called him; let him show the evidences of his call.” Daniel A. Payne In Thabiti M. Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007), 82.

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Tips for RTS Students: Keep Your Heart Open

By Charlie Wingard · December 6, 2018 · 0 Comments
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One sure way to cripple your ministry is to speak to your congregation harshly, either in or out of the pulpit. Don’t confuse harshness with boldness. One can speak softly and gently and still be bold. To be bold, according to Merriam-Webster, is to be “fearless before danger” – a virtue when communicating biblical truth. But the voice of the bold may be calm, the words measured, and the tone devoid of the harshness that pushes people away. William Plumer reminds us that Harshness is not fidelity. There are hardly any maxims more false or mischievous than these: “There is no good done unless opposition is aroused,” [or] ’”One’s fidelity may be tested by the enmity he awakens against himself…

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Tips for RTS Students: How Much Time for Sermon Preparation?

By Charlie Wingard · November 12, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Students ask, “How much time do you spend preparing your sermons?” My answer, “As little as possible.” By that I mean, as little time as possible to prepare a sermon faithful to the text and structured for the edification of the hearers. I love preparing sermons. Commentaries, lexicons, Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias, and atlases are close companions throughout the week. Preparing well means praying for understanding of the text and my conformity to its teaching, and for the Lord to prepare the congregation to receive the word preached. Were time limitless, I would exhaustively research every point that fascinates me as I study the text. But time is not limitless. Although preaching is my principal duty, it is not my…

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