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Core Qualities: Scholarship Why Scholarship?
By John Grys
In a world increasingly populated by 140 characters and status postings, we can easily fall into the trap of popularizing without anchoring. In the world of Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine, it is easy to settle for style over substance. The world of scholarship in the life of a pastor can serve as an anchor to counterbalance this tendency. Scholarship reminds us as pastors to never settle for a merely prescriptive ministry. The life of the mind can be anchored deep into places that can withstand the blowing currents of trendy Christianity.
Scholarship seeks to go beyond the surface. This anchoring beyond the surface digs the mind deep into something other than self. It anchors into a past, into a context, into worlds outside of my own. It refuses to settle for simple solutions. Scholarship echoes the sentiments of American writer, Oliver Wendall Holmes, Sr., who supposedly said, “For the simplicity on this side of complexity, I wouldn't give you a fig. But for the simplicity on the other side of complexity, for that I would give you anything I have.” Scholarship takes the pastor through simplicity, anchors them into complexity, and then brings them back into simplicity again. This is a path that ensures the pastor the opportunity to thrive through the currents of congregational, theological, and ecclesiastical trendiness. Scholarship sources pastoral calling. Thus, scholarship anchors pastoral ministry into a context not merely immediate but distant and rooted.
John Grys is pastor for the Burr Ridge and Naperville churches in Illinois