Christian Schmidt, 5-year ADVANCE BA/MDIV student, preaches at Christ Church’s New Voices
Last month, six TEDS students preached at different services across Christ Church’s multiple locations in Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Grayslake, and Highland Park. New Voices Sunday is an annual event that gives seminary students an opportunity to put into practice all they’re learning in the classroom.
Students all preached on John 10 where Jesus teaches about being the good shepherd who knows his sheep and they know him. A month before preaching, students met with staff at Christ Church for coaching and direction. The following weeks brought a lot of collaboration among students: reading the passage and commentaries, studying together, sharing outlines, and practicing preaching in front of one another.
“The opportunity to speak at Christ Church’s New Voices allowed me to take the demanding hours of education at TEDS and actually bring it into practical preaching,” said Christian Schmidt, an ADVANCE 5-year BA/MDiv student. “Behind the pulpit and sharing the Word of God was a great experience.”
MDiv student Erik Engstrom preached at the Vernon Hills campus and said the experience provided practical, hands-on training. “Collaborating with other TEDS students brought such life to my experience to preach at Christ Church. The hours we spent studying together, sharing imagery ideas, and helping one another sharpen our messages was really beneficial.”
Christ Church is committed to helping build a new generation of church leaders. Syler Thomas, a 1998 MDiv TEDS graduate and a pastor at Christ Church, explains: “Christ Church started New Voices in 2015 with a desire to give TEDS students and other young preachers an opportunity to preach live in front of a congregation of adults at a regular weekend service. The collaboration the preachers have with each other in the planning phase is invaluable, and each of the sermons benefits from the feedback they receive along the way. The other thing I love about it is that it communicates to the congregation our commitment to investing in the next generation of pastors.”