A Conversation on Training Men with Dr. Paul Lamey
Dr. Lamey serves as Pastor-teacher at Grace Community Church in Huntsville, Alabama, the newest church campus of The Expositors Seminary. From 1998–2002, Paul served as a staff ministerial resident and assistant to Jerry Wragg at Grace Community Church (Los Angeles). After graduating from The Master’s Seminary in 2002, he became the pastor of Grace Community Church in Huntsville where he continues to serve. Dr. Lamey has been a regular instructor in training pastors with The Samara Center for Biblical Training (Russia), also serving on the International Board of Advisors for Samara. He is a regular contributor of essays and reviews with The Master’s Seminary’s “Preachers and Preaching,” The Expositors Seminary Blog, The Master’s Seminary Journal, The Journal of Modern Ministry, Christianity.com, and ChurchPastor.com. He and his wife, Julie, have been married for 17 years, and they have four children: Johnny, William, Maggie, and Emma.
One of the many reasons we appreciate Dr. Lamey is his commitment to training pastors in the context of the local church. Paul is a pastor-theologian and welcome addition to the faculty of TES. Our model of training engages seasoned pastors like Dr. Lamey to train men in the living laboratory of the local church.
Below is a brief conversation we had with Dr. Lamey about seminary training.
TES: What is it about training men in the local church that most excites you?
Paul: “I’m excited because I see evidences of change where churches are beginning to question the spiritual, financial, and practical impact of sending men into academic settings where church life is a second thought, if one at all. Returning the local church to its formative roots, the training of pastors is refreshing and welcomed from my perspective. The church is the pillar and support of the truth and the place from which men are called and sent into ministry. Only a healthy church, rooted in sound doctrine and faithful practice, is able to accomplish this weighty task. This is at the very heart of what TES is about.”
TES: What compelled you and your elders to pursue partnership with TES?
Paul: “Since our beginning, we have pursued a robust commitment to Paul’s admonition in 2 Timothy 2:2. At the same time we value gospel partnerships with like-minded churches where we cooperate with shared resources. We believe our partnership with TES propels our commitment to rigorous apprenticeships in the local church while maintaining a high standard for sound academics. We see no dichotomy between demanding studies and practical training because both are needed to shape men for the realities of ministry. The biblical languages, expository methodology, and practical ministry experience is a shared commitment that we feel is crucial to training pastors.”
TES: What do you think will be the greatest impact on your church with the addition of a TES campus?
Paul: “The nexus for pastoral training is best achieved with God’s people, so young ministers are shaped by congregational life in the body of Christ. There is no category of ministry in the NT apart from the life of the local church. An affectionate love for the flock will not magically appear after one finishes seminary. Pastoral affections must be cultivated in the trenches where people live while one is in seminary. I’m excited to see church members, young and old, have a meaningful opportunity to set men on the right footing for future ministry. I think many church members today see the seminary as something for others, a service that belongs to a certain academic class of scholars. Biblical training for pastoral ministry needs the congregation as much as it needs the classroom. I’m enthusiastic for our TES partnership because we love the church of Jesus Christ, and it is exciting to know that our congregation will have a front-row opportunity to impact future ministers of the church to the glory of God.”
If you are a student looking to receive a quality academic education, while at the same time learning how to use your training in the context of a local church, you should consider the TES campus at Grace Community Church in Huntsville, Alabama. This location is a perfect example of the Four Pillars found on every TES campus church: Scholarship - Students on our Huntsville campus receive the identical high-level instruction and curriculum found in every one of our TES campus locations. Mentorship - Pastor Lamey and the elders of Grace Community Church intentionally mentor the students on their campus. Apprenticeship - Students gain valuable hands-on ministry experience at GCC. Fellowship - Students and their families are cared for by this warm and highly committed church family.
Learn more about this campus by visiting www.expositors.org.