When students graduate from RTS Charlotte, they head out into all sorts of ministries–they become pastors, counselors, missionaries, professors, etc. In addition, they head into all sorts of locations. We have alumni all over the world, in places like Malaysia, China, Japan, Morocco, Peru, Mexico, and beyond.
One of the most exciting examples of international ministry from our grads is the work being done in Prague, Czech Republic. Jake Hunt (class of 2007) is doing some great work in this needy city (along with Charlotte grads Phil Davis and Cody Janicek). This is a strategic place. On the one hand it was the home of the great 14th century Reformer Jan Hus. On the other hand, it is known as the most atheistic city in the world.
So, Jake is the next installment of our Where Are They Now? series. Here is his interview:
1. What are you currently doing?
I’m the Associate Pastor at Faith Community Church, an international church in Prague, Czech Republic. Our church is about 8 years old, and all 3 of our pastors (Phil Davis, Cody Janiček and myself) came out of RTS Charlotte. We have members from 8 different nationalities, including lots of Czechs and Slovaks. Apart from general pastoral work, my areas of focus are adult education, discipleship, and music.
2. Why did you originally come to RTS Charlotte?
I always laugh at this question, because for such a big and life-changing decision, there wasn’t a whole lot to it.
I had gotten into Reformed theology by reading John Piper, had long sensed a call to be a pastor, and needed a seminary. So I Googled “what seminaries does Desiring God recommend?”, liked the blurb about RTS, saw there was a campus in Charlotte (my wife and I are from Georgia, so that was reasonably close), and set up a visit.
I knew nothing about Presbyterianism and very little about Reformed theology in general, but I loved the emphasis on training pastor-scholars and the relationship of doctrine and piety. That ethos was what attracted me to RTS, what kept me there, and what has made me increasingly appreciate RTS in my first few years as a pastor.
3. Is there one thing that you learned at RTS that has come back to you as you have ministered to others? A phrase, encouragement or advice?
Perhaps my biggest overarching takeaway from RTS was a confidence in God’s Word and Spirit. God’s people need to be strengthened, encouraged, and built up by the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit loves to work through the Word. So in preaching, teaching, counseling, even casual conversation, I try to be as Bible-driven as I can, trust (and ask!) the Spirit to use it, and wait patiently and confidently for fruit.
4. What do you enjoy most about your current ministry?
We are in an essentially atheistic or agnostic culture. That means we can’t depend on much assumed knowledge when we talk about Christianity. We have to avoid Christian jargon and go all the way to the basics: There is a God. We are accountable to him. We can trust the Bible. I love to see the effects of building that solid foundation in the lives of new and young believers. I love seeing lights come on in people’s faces when they hear that God loves them because they’re in Christ, not because they’ve behaved a certain way.
5. What has been a struggle in your ministry?
We are in an essentially atheistic or agnostic culture. That means that the progress is slower than we Americans like to expect. And building relationships with trust, which are essential for evangelism in this context, can take a long time. The turnover in the international community is also sometimes heartbreaking, as we say goodbye to close friends just about every year.
6. If you could give any encouragement to a current student in seminary, what would it be?
Get involved with a solid local church. Uptown Church has been just as important for my family’s growth and walk with God as RTS. Of course a church internship is very helpful for practical experience, and for developing mentor relationships that give you somebody to call when you’re in over your head. But I also credit our membership in a good church with keeping us from spiritual burnout while in seminary, and with helping to avoid the unnatural divorce of mind and heart. And the relationships we formed there are still the foundation of the spiritual, emotional, and yes, financial support team that helps us be in Prague.
Check out this video about Faith Community Church in Prague: