Community Chapel at Alumni Hall

Pastor Daniel Montgomery of Sojourn Community Church preached in Alumni Hall today during chapel service.  He preached on living out the gospel in our personal lives on a daily basis.  He preached from Galatians 2:20-21.  The main point of his message was that if you have been saved by God, then you have been crucified to the old self and resurrected anew in Christ.  He did an excellent job of unpacking what this means for the believer and the church.  You can read the fuller chapel blog here and can download the audio here when it is uploaded to the seminary’s audio resources page.

Observation

I noticed that today in chapel there was a much different crowd than normal.  I am not sure how to take this observation other than at face value–the normal crowd (and if you attend regularly, you know what I am saying) was replaced by a different crowd.  I only state it here because it was very obvious to many.

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9 Responses to Community Chapel at Alumni Hall

  1. Paul Fuller says:

    I’m pretty green here… (first semester at this seminary) but I did notice the balcony was quite empty and there were a few more tattoos than normal. It seems like you’ve got an enthymeme here in your post that isn’t very clear to me. In other words, it seems like you’re attempting to state something more than simply your observation.

    Paul Fullers last blog post..Please Pray for Rhett

  2. @Paul: Not at all. I was merely making an observation similar to what you said.

    For what it is worth, I was greatly excited to see who was in attendance more than disappointed by who was not today at Alumni Hall. I am not sure who was and who was not in seminary, but that is not the point. The point is, today’s chapel reached a completely different audience rather than just a seminary crowd. It seems to me that that is what we are supposed to do–reach out to everyone who, as Pastor Montgomery said, “desperately needs Christ.”

    I can say with all honesty that I was not saying anything negative about who was present in chapel today. However, I have gone on record here at Said and in my diary regarding seminarians who do not attend chapel and are able.

  3. Bryan says:

    As a seminary student and a member at Sojourn, I was really excited to see such a mixture of people at chapel. One of the prevailing ideas, from both sides of the fence, seem to be that Sojourn and Seminary are a bit like oil and water. I was happy to see that thought done away with, and both groups, who, on the outside, are quite different, (yet united by the same Gospel) come and worship together. It’s a beautiful picture of the Kingdom, I think- where suits and tattoos, blue and white collar, city and country can all come together and worship.

  4. @Bryan: I couldn’t agree with you more. I think, as you put it, “both sides of the fence” are a bit hesitant to come together. Maybe there is something deeper to all of this, but I agree that it was nice to see the mixture in Alumni Hall today to worship the One True God.

  5. Brother Hank says:

    Come to think of it, I did notice an influx of black-rimmed glasses today…lol.

    But, all jokes aside, I think it would be worth noting that most of these things that we highlight as “diverse” won’t make the trip from here to eternity. I don’t know for certain, but I’m thinking that neither our suits, blue collars, black rimmed glasses, tattoos, nor my favorite pair of cowboys boots will be found on our glorified bodies as we stand around the throne of God. So, whether it’s suits and ties for Mohler, or shirts and sneakers for Montgomery – we’re really not as diverse as we like to think. And you know what? That’s okay. Because I’ve found that most brothers and sisters bear a striking family resemblance to each other – and with God as our Father, I’d say we’ve got some pretty strong genes…

    Brother Hanks last blog post..40 Days for Life: Shaking Louisville for the Kingdom

  6. Paul Fuller says:

    Well said, Bryan and Hank!
    Terry, it seems like what you’re trying to subtly ask is, “Why would so many regular chapel attendees (presumably the ‘suit and tie’ variety, or least the ‘polo and dockers’) decide to not show up on a day when one many of the ‘tattooed’ would be there?” Well, if I’m reading way too much between the lines, let me know. But even so, I guess that’s the question I now have!

    Paul Fullers last blog post..Please Pray for Rhett

  7. @Paul: While I was simply making a general observation about those in attendance at chapel yesterday, I can see the implications of it. It may be because I have always been frustrated that students in general do not take advantage of the great preaching during chapel services and therefore was not focusing on this issue specifically in my comment, but I do agree with your question. I just see it differently in that all seminary students should commit to going to chapel if they are not working or have prior family engagements.

    BTW, we have a mutual friend in Terry Lange who keeps telling me I should meet you!

  8. Peter Beck says:

    As someone who’s probably been to more SBTS chapels than anyone in this string so far by reason of the fact that I spent 9.5 years at Southern, let me add another perspective. I wasn’t at chapel yesterday. I teach at a school where chapel is generally a disappointment (yesterday being the exception with Voddie Baucham). But, when I was at Southern, attendance in chapel waxed and waned dramatically as the semester wore on and the burdens of the academia overtook the need for worship and fellowship. More strikingly though was (and I assume still is) the fact that attendance at Southern’s chapel is driven not by the clothes or the body art but by the renown of the speaker. If John MacArthur came in sporting some new ink tomorrow, the place would be full. Unfortunately too many folks in seminary make their chapel attendance decisions based on the preacher’s fame not God’s renown. They’re Gospel groupies. That’s even more shallow than the tattoo versus suit problem.

  9. Paul Fuller says:

    After talking with a few students yesterday, it became clear that the main reason that the attendance was low on Tuesday was because of what Peter referenced: school work. Every single student that I asked about attendance of (I only asked a handful) was not there because they had to catch up on homework. I’m not sure what to think about that. A legalistic inclination in me wants to say, “You’re missing out on a blessing,” but another side of me wants to say, “You are missing out on a blessing.” Having been in a different seminary where you were only allowed to miss a few chapels without actually being charged a fine, I tend to think that SBTS’s approach is much more grace-based. However, I know that the many times that I chose not to skip chapel at that school to study for a quiz or exam often turned out to be incredible times of ministry to my soul by the Spirit! And trust me, we didn’t have any famous folks showing up for chapel there… All that being said, in light of the content of Dan’s message on Tuesday, though, God doesn’t measure our performance in light of the number of chapel services we attend. Praise the Lord that there is now no condemnation!

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