Spring 2014 President's Convocation

“Experience often determines perspective and perspective often shapes attitude,” said President Jeff Iorg during his spring 2014 Convocation address. “It is easy to take for granted the opportunity God has given us to be students of the Word of God. In this message I want to shape your attitude about the importance of the Bible in your life.”

While preaching at the Mill Valley campus of Golden Gate Seminary, Iorg brought a strong exhortation to seminarians from James 1:19-25. He challenged students, “to be people who not only have access to the Word of God, but people who are committed to hearing and obeying the Word.” When this choice is made, Iorg assured students “you will experience the blessing that can only come from living under the authority of God’s Word.”

“As we change our perspective on the Word of God, we must first be genuine hearers of the Word. We cannot be casual hearers only, but must also be intentional, eager hearers who are quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, and intentionally ridding ourselves of things which crowd out the influence of the Word in our lives.”

Iorg cautioned there is more to Christian ministry than simply hearing or appreciating the Bible. “The text progresses from challenging us to be better hearers of the Word to the next level – being doers of the Word.” He noted how some seminarians deceive themselves by thinking that simply amassing the information by hearing about the Word of God is sufficient for ministerial success. “You must not be mere hearers, but practicing ‘doers’ of the Word who are transformed by the Word.”

President Iorg noted that the Seminary administration and faculty have agreed to a clearly articulated mission statement: shaping leaders who expand God’s kingdom around the world. “Leaders must be transformed so they can go out and allow the Word of God to transform others. This is how the kingdom of God expands.”

He concluded the sermon by reminding students of the perspective they should have on the Bible. “Don’t lose the capacity to experience the Bible’s transformative power. Recapture a sense of awe: God has allowed you to go to seminary. Hold a sense of amazement: you have received the opportunity to come here and study the Word of God with people who’ve devoted their lives to it, and soak up all the richness of it. Think of the privilege you’ve been given. But more than that - develop a passion for doing what the Bible teaches…being transformed by the Word of God.”