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3G Ministers in a 5G World

Hearty ministers minister by grace and grit unto glory.


I’m guessing that most of you probably own one of these (holding up a cell phone). It might even be fair to say that some of you are owned by one of these.

You can relax. I’m not about to go off on a rant against our overdependence on modern technology, although it wouldn’t be a bad thing if I did. Nor am I showing you my phone as a no-so-subtle cue to you to turn off yours, though that’s not a bad idea either.

Maybe you’re thinking I have a new phone and want to show it off. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m not one of those techies who rushes out to buy the latest gadget to fall from Apple’s tree. This is not an iPhone. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest phones on the market. It came with no plan. I get my minutes from one of those scratch-off cards they sell down at Kroger’s grocery store. I suppose all of that makes me something of a relic, a throwback, “one of those people.” And that’s all fine by me.

The reason I’m showing you my phone is because I’ve noticed that where the tiny icon at the top of my home screen used to say 3G, it now says 4G. I realize that still leaves me 1G behind, according to that sweet young lady on all those TV commercials. Nevertheless, I now have an extra G in this new phone that I didn’t have in the old one. It’s there to boost my phone’s processing speed and to reduce my risk of dropped calls.

Dropped calls. According to studies by the Alban Institute and Fuller Seminary awhile back, 50% of ministers drop out of ministry within the first five years, and many never go back to church again. Dropped calls. A Duke University study once found that 85% of seminary graduates entering ...

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Gregory Hollifield is the Associate Dean at Memphis College of Urban and Theological Studies at Union University and Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of the Evangelical Homiletics Society.

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