Over the next several weeks you will hear from TBC professors who are launching students from the college’s various departments of study.
We were honored to sit down with Dr. Thompson (D. Min., Dallas Theological Seminary) from the Biblical Studies department at TBC and hear his heart for training future pastors, missionaries, and ministry leaders. Dr. Thompson plays a vital role in preparing ministry workers for a successful future in a variety of ministry settings.
As a veteran missionary, current pastor, and college professor, he has the wisdom of past experience, an understanding of current church life, and awareness of the culture into which ministry must reach.
Question: What is your favorite thing about teaching the next generation of young people at Trinity Baptist College?
Dr. Thompson: My favorite part is the ability to instill in them a clear understanding of the scriptures and what God says and to help them understand the various aspects of ministry in which they will be engaged… to help them have a proper context of what ministry life is like and to have proper expectations. If they have solid grounding in the truth they will be equipped to make wise decisions.
Question: Why is formal training important for future Pastors, Missionaries, and Ministry Leaders?
Dr. Thompson: In our culture it is almost essential for you to have a college degree to even be considered for a position. A master’s degree is almost as important these days! In the context of ministry, formal training won’t teach you everything you’ll come up against – there’s just too much out there. But it does give you a solid foundation, and it gives you credibility. It gives you the tools necessary for you to figure things out. That is what it comes down to: formal training is important because it gives you a solid foundation and it gives you credibility.
Here at TBC we do that, plus, we give you some of the practical side too – a lot of places will give you training in religion or theology but don’t train you how to actually be a pastor or a missionary. We want you to have an idea of the practical side of things: how to raise support as a missionary, how to run the organizational side of church – best practices for finances, leadership structure, legal accountability, etc.
How special has it been for you to have students view you as an impactful mentor in their lives?
Dr. Thompson: I don’t really view myself as a great mentor necessarily, but the fact that students see me as approachable really means a lot. I want to be accessible. That was my experience as a student in college – I didn’t see my professors as just teachers. They were involved in my life. So it means a lot to have the opportunity to do that for students now.
TBC has alumni throughout the United States and on every continent in the world. Many will read this short interview. What would you want to say to them to encourage them?
Dr. Thompson: Keep working on your spiritual relationship with the Lord. Stay close to Him; walk with Him. Realize that your reward will come in the future when one day you will hear “Well done, my faithful servant”.