I am officially forever done with school.
Friday morning I mailed off five copies of my 167 page doctoral project to be bound. Later that afternoon, I filled out the last bits of paperwork needed for graduation. The only thing I have left to do is walk across a stage and determine if Dr. Al Mohler is a hugger or a hand-shaker. And yes, I am planning on walking this graduation. I didn’t last time, but this will be a neat moment of closure.
I started this degree in the summer of 2007 for a few different reasons. I knew if I didn’t continue school then, I probably wouldn’t go back. This degree would actually help my church out in many different ways due to its structure and focus. And I had a lot of people encouraging me.
It has been a ton of work, but it has well been worth it. What’s in those pages being sent to be bound is the result of hours of research. North Side, the series Crossroads, GRACE, and Legacy were created through that research. The Making Faith Stick class and a whole lot of other stuff came from it.
Dr. Lawless promised me that doing this degree well would result in our church being stronger. As I took on the topic of equipping parents to evangelize their children, I have actually been able to already use this work in another church and hopefully more.
After mailing in the Christmas CD on Thursday and this heavy box of papers on Friday, I rested well this weekend. I mean, really well. It was such a celebration for our family to go to the post office together because it meant a neat accomplishment, but more so, it meant we had more time to spend together.
Amanda and I always kept tabs on how much I was working on it. I had to spend some Friday mornings upstairs typing away, but most of the time, I worked on it when my family was asleep at night. The major thing this project taught me is never ever let career, education, and even the ministry step in the way of your family. You can easily justify good things with bad results. To do both well means you make sacrifices. But I would much rather sleep less than miss out on precious Saturdays with the Agnew clan. At the end of your life, your kids aren’t going to call you by your greatest degree title and your wife isn’t going to include a title with your name.
Humbly grateful today and thankful for closure.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.