A Season of Growth and Change

by Stephen Wilder

In March of 2019, I was finishing up my undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama, and I was not really sure what the next step was for me. Over that spring break, our college ministry went on a mission trip to New Orleans to serve with multiple church plants. Over that week, I began to realize that seminary might be that next step. When we got back from the trip, I talked with RJ and I came to the conclusion that I should apply to seminary, resulting in getting accepted into NOBTS. For those of you who know me, you know that change does not come naturally to me, so I decided that I would take hybrid classes here in Tuscaloosa for a year  to see how they would go.  During this past year I had the privilege of serving as a College Ministry Fellow, alongside a college ministry and church that truly know how to share and be the light of Christ.

In my first semester of seminary, I took  a class called “Personal Discipleship.” In this class, we were given some Bible verses to memorize, one of which was Philippians 4:6-7.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Over this past year, this verse has become the one I keep going back to for strength, and it serves as a reminder that even when I did not get the job I applied for, God has a bigger plan. Even though I have struggled to read the books I need to read for class or finish that paper on time, I can now look back through all of those difficult situations and hard conversations and see how the Lord has been faithful. The Lord gave me:

-  A bible study full of Godly men who want to serve the Lord as much as I do. This alone helped fuel my fire when I was tired and frustrated.
-  A college ministry staff who supported me though all my crazy ideas and even encouraged me to take those steps that seem difficult to take.
-  A college ministry that makes life fun and unique and is simply #BetterTogether.

These are just some of the positives that have come out of my first year in grad school, so although seminary is not easy FCM makes those hard times easier, through the community and the light of Christ that it gives. So, as I make a BIG transition to on-campus classes in NOLA I wanted to leave FCM with a word of encouragement, from Romans 12:1-2:

 “I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God. To present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. DO not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

This is one verse that I am still striving everyday to live to the fullest. Even though I will not be in Tuscaloosa in August, I still plan on visiting and can not wait to see and hear about the amazing things that God does with the seeds of the Gospel that have been planted before and  over this COVID-19 pandemic. I am only a phone call or Text away. Love y’all.

In Christ,
Stephen Wilder

No Comments