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Seminary Students and Teachers

I often wonder what the relationship should be like between Seminary professors and their students. There are certainly different kinds of leadership, and I believe that leadership, personality, and teaching styles all have to do with the kind of relationship a professor would have with his or her students.

There are some professors who are close to being seen as drill-sergeants. What they say goes and there is no bending of the rules. What has been forcefully agreed upon in the syllabus is a contract, unless of course they (the professor) choose to change the rules of that contract.

There are other professors who don’t take attendance and are very buddy-buddy with their students. An assignment turned in sometime during the term is not a late assignment. Tests and quizzes are rarely used, and when they are, they are hardly graded. Students might like this professor, but secretly they are disappointed because they are not learning anything.

There are also professors who have gained respect of their students but haven’t forced the respect like a drill sergeant. They are respected for what they have accomplished and for the type of relationships they cultivate with their students. They know when to be buddies and they know when to enforce the rules.

I can think of various professors in my past who have fit into one of these three categories. I learned from each of them in different ways. Now that I’m on the other side of the classroom (as the professor), I have to think of which type of professor I want to be.

Which kind (or others) of professor did you learn the most from?

(Photo by: Jaredchapman on flickr)

Video of Being Led by God

Yesterday, I posted about our discipleship experience we had on Monday.

Here’s the video of what happened. It’s a pretty long video, but it shows the entire experience, which led me to reflect a lot on what it means to allow God to lead me throughout life.

Later, I’ll post my thoughts and what I learned through the entire experience.

Blindfolded and Led Away

Today, I was blindfolded, put into public transportation, and led to unknown place. If that sounds scary, now I’ll tell you that my Seminary students were the ones who did this to me.

We had an example program today that a group of my students from my programming class had to organize, much like last week’s camping trip, which was also organized by a group of my students.

Today, the entire theme was “Guided by God.” We were divided into two groups and then blindfolded. We sat down, and someone washed our feet, gave us a backpack with needed supplies, and then led us on a trip. We left the Seminary property and crossed the giant foot bridge that is out front. Then we got into a mini-bus and were led to a place where we gave away a sandwich to a stranger. Then we got into another “combi” and were on our way back to the Seminary.

When we got back to the seminary, we were led into another room and were introduced to our “guide.” The guide was Jesus, and they led us in a time of reflection on what it means to be guided by God. It was a great lesson.

They recorded the entire trip, so I’ll put up some video soon of our experience. (UPDATE: Here’s the video)

(Photo by: B Tal on flickr)

Youth Emphasis Week 2009 Recap

The purpose of this year’s Youth Emphasis Week at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary was to create the awareness of the need to work with young people, to walk beside them in their problems, and to make an investment in their lives because God can turn those problems into opportunities for future ministry.

We used the format of a television program, turned the entire auditorium into a TV set, and we titled the program “Invertidos” (Inverted). There is a play on words in Spanish that uses the meanings invest and invert.

On the first day, we invited Huberto (our first YM graduate in Mexico and now youth ministry professor) to be the special guest, so along with all the usual TV show stuff, we asked him to talk about the problems that young people have, and we left it at that: The problems we go through cause our lives to be messed up.

Day 2 was the day for the homiletics class to preach, so the student who preached talked about Genesis 3, temptation and sin.

Day 3 was an open forum where we saw a case study of a girl and guy who grew up in the church, began sleeping together, and got married behind everyone’s back (but each of them still lived with their own parents). He went to the USA to work, but got involved with another girl, and now wants a divorce. We invited answers from the crowd about how to handle the situation. We left thinking that we didn’t really know how to handle the situation.

invertido inverted croppedDay 4 finished up the week with a look at how God sees these trials in our lives. I spoke about our ability to only see the past and the present while God can see the future. I used 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 to talk about how God sees us not as who we are but how we can be. He sees the future and wants to use these problems that young people are going through now to comfort others in the future.

Overall, I think the week went well. It was great to see the YM students come together as a team and pull off a lot of creative elements. I’m proud of them and their effort. It was a lot of work, but it produced what we had hoped to produce.

Thanks for praying. When I get some time, I hope to post a recap video.

Youth Ministry Retreat

Grupo en el campa

Sunday night and Monday, I went away (about an hour away) with the youth ministry students for a retreat experience.

It was organized by a group of them for their programming class. Overall, we had a good time. It was tiring (especially after Youth Emphasis Week), but fun.

Youth Emphasis Week Day 1

Today was the first day of our Youth Emphasis Week this year. We’re doing a TV program spoof called “Invertido.” Today went well. We turned the music auditorium into a TV studio, and today we talked about what we many people see when they see young people. Huberto was the “special guest.”

During the program, we had a “live” interview with Edgar (which we had taped beforehand). He talked about some interviews he did the day before. Here is the video (in Spanish):

Problemas en la juventud from Dennis on Vimeo.

Expanding Youth Ministry Training in Mexico

For a while now, we’ve been thinking about a way to expand the youth ministry training we do in Mexico. We already started one of the only Bachelor’s degrees in youth ministry in Latin America. But we know that it’s not enough to offer a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry.

Although the bachelor’s program has been growing, we recognize that not everyone who is working with young people can come to the Seminary full time for training. With the problems that come from living in Mexico City, it makes it difficult to do a lot of informal training.

Saturday was the first day of the long-awaited Diploma in youth ministry. We started with 6 students who are working in various churches. Each one of them told us how important it is to get training in youth ministry, and they are all very happy to have this informal type of training.

The purpose of the diploma program is obviously to provide practical training for youth workers as well as promote the other youth ministry programs at the Seminary.

We are praying that this Saturday morning course (9 months out of the year) will help many local church youth workers and spread throughout the country.

We’ll keep you up to date with this new program, which we think will grow and expand in the coming months.

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