A Spirit of Sacrifice - President's Convocation

“Passion and passionate living are core values of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary,” Jeff Iorg, seminary president, told an audience of students, faculty, and staff at the President’s Convocation on August 25, which launched the fall semester at the Northern California Campus of Golden Gate Seminary.

Referring to Mark 10:17-31, Iorg said “Jesus called ministry leaders like us to demonstrate passion to the world through sacrifice.” The president noted Jesus explained the nature of sacrifice and how to develop a spirit of sacrifice.

In the story of the rich young ruler, Iorg pointed out three characters in the story: the rich young ruler, Jesus, and Peter. Iorg asked his listeners to consider Peter’s response to Jesus’ conversation with the young ruler as representative of a leader's questions about sacrifice.

Iorg noted Jesus assured Peter, without rebuking him, for asking questions about sacrifice. “This is one instance Jesus does not criticize or confront Peter when he asks a question,” said Iorg. “Instead he patiently answers the question and consoles his concerns.”

Iorg reminded the seminary family, “You will struggle with making sacrifices for the kingdom. For example, some of the people you went to college with are already making a lot more money than you. Some have finer homes, nicer cars, and more prestigious jobs. It’s a sacrifice to be a ministry leader.”

He acknowledged how some of the students in the audience had left family to come to seminary, and some of the faculty lives far away from children and grandchildren. “Relational sacrifice is painful, and honestly, sometimes we resent this.” Iorg encouraged the congregation to be honest with Jesus about the pain of sacrifice, knowing he will respond with counsel and encouragement – just as he did with Peter.

“This is the nature of ministry leadership,” explained Iorg, “to sacrifice for the expansion of his kingdom all around the world.” In attempting to answer the question, “What is a sacrifice?” Iorg advised, “Sacrifice is always personal and proportional. No one can define it for you, but choosing it for yourself is an essential part of modeling the Christian life.”

Iorg concluded by reminding the seminary community that Jesus promises rewards in this life, and also in eternity, for those who sacrifice for his kingdom.