What seminarians are learning at SWBTS…

If you ask Paige Patterson, Van McClain, David Allen, or a host of the other leaders influencing the vision and ministry of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, you’ll discover that these seminary leaders believe a theological education should model local church ministry for future pastors.

At least that’s the reason we’ve been given for why women shouldn’t teach men in the School of Theology.

Well, we at Baptist Blogger thought it would be fun to put Patterson’s philosophy of seminary education to a test by asking this question:

What are Southwestern Seminary students learning about the size of their parsonages when they get to the church field? Or more specifically, how does Paige Patterson’s 8,757 Sq.Ft home — valued at $936,675.00 — stack up against the pastors of major churches in the State of Texas? Keep in mind that Patterson’s “church” has a little under 2000 members.

So what have we discovered about the example Paige Patterson is setting for future pastors?

Lets allow the numbers to speak for themselves:

Prestonwood Baptist Church
Jack Graham, Pastor
3116 Seneca Dr. Frisco, TX
4271 Sq.Ft. 4bd, 3.5ba.
$852,401.00

Park Cities Baptist Church
Jim Denison, Pastor
7322 Marquette Dr. Dallas, TX.
3513 Sq. Ft. 4bd 3.5ba.
$987,033.00

First Baptist Church, Euless, TX
John Meador, Pastor
2902 Glen Dale Dr. Colleyville, TX
3690 Sq.Ft 4bd 3ba
$485,050.00

First Baptist Arlington
Dennis Wiles, Pastor
903 Portofino Dr. Arlington, TX
3706 Sq.Ft. 5bd 3.5ba.
$325,688.00

Birchman Baptist Church
Robert Pearle, Pastor
11816 Blue Creek Dr.
Aledo, TX 76008
3008 Sq.Ft. 4bd 3ba.
$216,254.00

First Baptist Houston
Greg Matte, Pastor
1213 Pine Chase, Houston, TX
3135 Sq.Ft. 5bd 2.5ba
$519,474.00

Second Baptist Church of Houston
H. Edwin Young, Pastor
10909 Melody Ln. Houston, TX
7652 Sq.Ft. 5bd 4.5ba
$1,414,721.00

Great Hills Baptist Church of Austin
Michael Lewis, Pastor
15508 Bandon Dr. Austin, TX
3558 Sq.Ft. –bd. 4.5ba.
$333,783.00

Hyde Park Baptist Church of Austin
Kie Bowman, Pastor
8308 Jancy Dr. Austin TX
3763 Sq. Ft.
$466,819.00

Then we decided to compare Patterson’s home with that of other SBC leaders residing in Texas:

Guidestone Financial Resouces
O.S. Hawkins, President
5759 Wortham Lane, Dallas, TX
4105 Sq. Ft. 3bd 3ba.
$839,407.00

Former Lifeway President
James T. Draper
7300 John McCain Rd. Colleyville, TX
6203 Sq. Ft. 4bd 4ba.
$759,887.00

Hon. H. Paul Pressler, II
5118 Holly Terrace Ct. Houston, TX
5759 Sq. Ft. 4bd 5.5ba.
$1,032,408.00

And just for fun, we looked up:

Rev. John Hagee
Cornerstone Church of San Antonio
8 Sherborne Lane, San Antonio, TX
5275 Sq.Ft. 6bd 4.5ba.
$739,445.00

Fmr President George H.W. Bush
6263 Sq. Ft.
$1,417,410.00

Fmr. Secretary of State James Baker
5304 Sq. Ft.
$1,441,194.00

When you put all of that together, you learn that Paige and Dorothy Patterson require:

4,724 square feet more than the average home of the largest church pastors in the State of Texas.

3,401 square feet more than the average home of the most prominent SBC leaders in the State of Texas.

2,494 square feet more than the home of a former President of the United States.

3,453 square feet more than the home of a former Secretary of State of the United States.

Of course, I suppose that none of these men ever use their homes for ministry purposes. I mean, how could they? Such ridiculously diminutive domiciles are inadequate to accomplish the ministry objectives assigned to them. And how on earth do Barbara Bush and Susan Baker find space in those tiny townhomes to entertain all the world leaders who visit their homes annually?

It looks like Southwestern Seminary students are getting a valuable lesson in ministry priorities and biblical stewardship after all. Thank God for the excellent leadership and model hospitality of Paige and Dorothy Patterson. Yes, thank God.

(Disclaimer: We have not provided links to Former President Bush’s or Secretary Baker’s home addresses for obvious reasons of national security.)

A regenerate, disciplined church…

This is the letter that went out two days ago to church members who have not been in active participation of our church ministries since Oct. 1, 2006. I publish it here with the hope that it might stimulate others to follow suit.

________________

February 27, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. XXX XXXXXX
PO Box 77777
Arlington, TX 76013

Dear XXX and XXXXXX:

Parkview Baptist Church continues to be a place where God’s people grow together in a mutual love for the Lord, for the Word of God, and for each other. As your pastor, I am especially concerned that all of our church members are experiencing the joys of salvation that accompany fellowship with those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ.

The Word of God teaches that the Lord’s people should not “forsake the assembly as is the custom of some” (Hebrews 10:25). Again and again in Scripture, those who have believed the Gospel are exhorted to persevere in their faith, knowing that their salvation is close at hand. (Matthew 24:13). Believers are admonished to show good works, demonstrating the power of the Lord to transform lives from selfish pursuits unto a life of service to God (Ephesians 4:11-20). We are to be a people who come together for worship and service with glad hearts, rejoicing that the Lord has called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light (Psalm 122:1; 1 Peter 2:9).

With these truths in mind, I want to write you as your brother and friend to tell you how sorely you have been missed among the saints of God at Parkview Baptist Church. This Wednesday night, February 28, 2007, your church family is going to spend extra time in prayer for you, asking that the Lord would restore health of body and fervor of spirit to you that you may return to serving him faithfully.

Now it is possible that you have united with another church, and you are serving Christ with the fullness of grace that he supplies. If this is the case, we rejoice that you have found a family of faith with which to become more committed disciples of our Lord. In the event you have not been serving in a local church and supporting the work of our Lord’s ministry through that church, we at Parkview grieve over your lost enthusiasm for the Lord’s work.

The Scriptures are very bold about the spiritual dangers to believers who grow indifferrent to the Lord and his work (Revelation 3:15-16), and who depart from spiritual fellowship with his people (1 John 2:19). As your pastor, I am saddened that you may have grown discouraged in your faith, not finding strength and mercy to persevere through the trials that have distracted you from the glorious grace of our Lord and Savior. Perhaps this is my fault, that I have not been as faithful an under-shepherd to seek you and draw you back to the safe and loving fellowship of our Good Shepherd’s fold. To some degree, I hope this letter affirms my desire to see you grow in grace and commitment to follow the Lord by obedience to the gospel.

Parkview Baptist Church is committed to maintaining a healthy congregation that will not neglect each other’s spiritual discipline, or our own. For this reason, our church adopted a revised Constitution and Bylaws on October 1, 2006, which requires that the membership privileges of inactive members be suspended at the conclusion of six months without support of the church ministry through active worship participation or financial contribution. At the end of March 2007, six months will have passed since we adopted this provision of membership. Since that time, it has burdened our hearts that we have not enjoyed the fellowship we once knew with you.

If you have united with another church family, then please know that we are excited about the possibility of your serving Christ faithfully in that place. We would appreciate your letting us know so that we may rejoice with you in your continued faith and spiritual growth. If you have not united with another church family, but circumstances have arisen in your life that providentially hinder your active support of the ministry of Parkview Baptist Church, then we want to know about them so we can pray for you more specifically and earnestly.

If, instead, you have become lax in your spiritual growth, cold in your service to the Lord, and disinterested in joining God’s people for Sunday worship, then we sincerely hope to have the opportunity to visit with you about your Christian commitment before March 31, 2007, at which point your membership privileges at Parkview Baptist Church will be suspended.

As your pastor, please know that I am available to you if you would like to visit. I would cherish the opportunity to pray with you about God’s will for your life, and to encourage you in your spiritual walk. I hope to see you reconciled to a life of faithfulness and a service of rewarding obedience to Christ. Please know that I love you, and I am eagerly awaiting your reply to this letter of exhortation and encouragement.

In Christ,

BSC