When I was 8 years old, my Grandpa bought me a red, Craftsman toolbox. Every year after, he added a tool to my box–first a hammer, then a pipe wrench, a set of sockets, wrenches, pliers, a measuring tape, etc. By the time I graduated from high school, I had a complete set of high-quality tools and a sturdy box to store them. Little did I know back then how much I would need that box and its contents. Over the years, I learned how to use each tool and grew my collection by acquiring new ones.

When God saved you, he gave you a new heart and supplied you with spiritual gifts. He even crafted a blueprint of the good works that you were created to do (Eph. 2:10). At conversion, you probably had no idea how to use the tools he entrusted to you, but over the years, you have gained knowledge and experience by using your toolbox. Over time, God has awakened a greater longing to more effectively use the tools that he gave you. If that describes you, then I urge you to consider seminary.

Seminary is one of the best ways to furnish your toolbox. It’s like going to the hardware store and not only stocking your box with tools, but learning from master craftsmen how to use them. Grace Seminary equipped me for a lifetime of faithful, effective ministry. Skilled faculty helped me to discover what tools were in my toolbox, and they collaborated with ministry mentors to coach me in putting them to work. Getting a master’s degree not only added to my toolbox, it gave me the proficiency and confidence I needed to skillfully use tools I already possessed. Every class provided fresh insights. In seminary, I gained deeper knowledge and acquired new skills that complemented the tools I already owned. I also learned how to use each tool with greater precision and impact.

In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul exhorts Timothy regarding his toolbox: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

That commission applies to us.

Seminary equipped me for that calling–it guided me in cultivating a pastor’s heart and the skills needed to rightly handle the word of truth. Seminary transformed my life and strengthened my ministry. Seminary offered the tools I needed, and showed me how to use them. Seminaryequipped me for a lifetime of ministry.

Through Deploy, Grace Seminary offers two master’s degrees that are designed to fit your life. You can stay in your context and learn ministry while doing ministry. Deploy integrates knowledge + character + skills to produce competence through coaching and application. Deployis a flexible, affordable, and accessible pathway for being further equipped for the ministry that God has given you. And, every student receives the Logos Bible Software, Gold 8, at no additional cost.

Deploy = A great strategy for building a top-notch toolbox.

This guest post was written and provided by Grace Seminary for the Download Youth Ministry blog.