Benjamin Wakefield | Judson University Christian College
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Benjamin Wakefield

Biblical Studies, 2006
Senior Pastor, Lynhurst Baptist Church
Indianapolis, IN
Lynhurstbaptist.org

 

What do you do in your current job and what do you enjoy about it?
Currently I am the Senior Pastor at a church of 130 regular worshipers. I am charged with the spiritual care and growth of our congregation which includes leading regular Sunday worship, leading Bible study, and overseeing Sunday Schools, small groups and other programs and activities of the church. Our Church is located in the city of Indianapolis providing many opportunities to serve. The most enjoyable part of serving the church is the myriad of opportunities to serve our community. We have free meals on Monday nights, food pantry once a month, a meal and Bible study on Wednesday Nights, a daily bread ministry, a clothing pantry, and more. In the midst of our serving we share the power and love of God to our community. I get a great sense of joy when someone who does not go to our church recognizes me as their pastor and our church as their church because we served them in some significant way.

How did your Judson experience influence you professionally? What were your favorite parts of being a Judson student?
Judson prepared me profoundly for daily ministry in the pastorate. Interpreting the Bible and other classes that focused on interpreting specific books of the Bible laid a foundation to help prepare my weekly preaching, Bible study classes, and small groups. All the books I used at Judson are in my office and I still use them today as I confidently prepare to teach the Word of God. The knowledge of the professors and their continued work in their degrees pushed me to excel in their classes. The opportunity to get to know the professors and the work that they were engaged in had a tremendous effect on me. I appreciated that the professors knew my name and even whom I was dating at the time. I will always remember when Dr. Eric Mason handed me a paper he was working on and asked me to read and look it over. That moment propelled me, not just to learn what professors were saying, but also to learn the things they were doing.

What are the strengths of your major/program at Judson?
I believe the strength of the Biblical Studies program is the professors. The professors are working in their field and have great knowledge, experience, and passion in their subject. The classes offered provide opportunities to learn the language in which the Bible was originally written, to study the histories and background of the texts, and the traditional and modern influences of interpretation. After graduating from Judson and going into Seminary, I quickly realized that I was better prepared in the facts, language and history of the Bible than my other peers. The expertise of the professors, but also the intimacy of the small class rooms allowed for opportunities to ask questions, dig deeper, and learn more than in a lecture hall setting. Outside the classrooms I had many opportunities to meet with my professors (Mason, McKeever, Erickson, Braaten) in their offices for long conversations about what we were learning. I am forever grateful for their wisdom, patience, and willingness to take time outside of the classroom.

What advice can you give to current and prospective students about their time at Judson?
My advice to current and perspective students would be to get everything they can out of their professors in the classroom, and the books they assign and recommend, and in their office during office hours. I would encourage students to take full advantage of the knowledge and accessibility to a terrific staff of professors. I would encourage them to go to every chapel and allow themselves to be transformed. I would tell them to hang on to their books because they are valuable resources. I would encourage students to sleep more than four hours a night, and begin their end of the semester papers on week two of class. I would advise students that if they pursue their education with everything they have at Judson, and do so in their careers, there will be no where that they cannot go.

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