Recently I had the opportunity to meet with a group of my Sigma Chi fraternity brothers from college. Some of them I have seen, but not really connected with in twenty years. It was fun, good to remember old times, and reminded me that they had made positive impacts on my life. I was a crazy college student sometimes, but the experience has since been used for good many times.
Right after that hang out time, I Tweeted that I should write a post about what I learned in my fraternity days that helped prepare me for ministry. I got lots of reaction, but one in particular appeared to be it’s own post. I decided to make it a guest post by the author.
Ky Bishop is currently Pastor Of Ministries at Woodlands Church in Houston Texas where Kerry Shook is Senior Pastor. He’s been married 25 years to Terri and they have 3 sons ranging from 16 to 20 years of age. Ky lists his fraternity experience as Delta Tau Delta – UTA – 81
Here are 7 ways Ky’s fraternity experience prepared him for ministry:
Don’t make a god out of the organization – It was easy to get caught up in the politics of Fraternity life; organizationally, administratively, etc., and forget that the most significant contribution to your experience were the people you met and built relationships with. The same can happen in church life.
Trust your first impressions and intuition – Listen to that “Still Small Voice” inside when it comes to making friendships and inviting them into your journey. There are a lot of “Well Intentioned Dragons” out there.
Relational intimacy percolates slowly – Just like good coffee, the best relationships are brewed properly. Instant coffee and instant relationships might be satisfying for a moment, but the heart burn is sure to come.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable – The high level of testosterone in any Frat gathering can lead to disingenuous activity. However, Jesus’ greatest work was done when he humbled himself.
Engage your brain before you engage your tongue – It is easy to get in a spit fight over non-essential matters, however, the one who keeps his cool is the one who wins.
Maintain accountability – Many a lone wolf has gone out on his own only to find himself caught in the trap. The wise Pastor will always share his inner darkness with a trusted confidant.
Intoxication, immaturity and ignorance need to “be controlled” not “in control” – Those three speak for themselves in relationship to Fraternity ways. In relation to the ministry it is easy to become intoxicated with the latest fad, fancy or fetish and allow our immaturity and ignorance to rule. However, when we keep in mind that it is His Kingdom, not ours, that is being built, we will “wait upon Him”.
Thanks Ky. I couldn’t have said it any better.
What about you? What would you add to Ky’s list? Were you in a fraternity or sorority in college? Give your fraternal organization a shout out and share one way it prepared (or didn’t prepare) you for life.