Did you know that it is estimated that 80-85% of churches have plateaued or are declining in our nation today? This is a sobering estimate, and we believe that the decline is directly linked to a leader’s health and the health of the church. Simply put, if leaders aren’t doing well, then neither are their churches.
That’s why Grace Theological Seminary is taking measures to help strengthen and encourage pastors around the nation through its Charis Collective for Thriving Leaders. Dr. Trent Lambert, director of Thriving Leaders and Master of Arts in Ministry Studies program coordinator, is at the forefront of this initiative and brings a wealth of ministry experience and education to the role.
Join us as we get to know Dr. Lambert a little better.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 27 years, we have three children, Ashlyn a senior at Grace, Latta a Freshman at Grace, and Rock who is in 6th Grade at Lakeland Christian School. We enjoy time together as a family sharing new experiences.
I look forward to every time that my family is around the kitchen table and we share life together. I enjoy each new season in life with my family and the great opportunities it brings.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a pastor is to determine the quality of life you want as a ministry family and set those margins of protection. Always remember your calling and purpose is to serve Jesus.
How did you come to know the Lord, and how did you become a faculty member at Grace?
I met Jesus in the 6th grade at a youth meeting and the preacher gave an altar call for salvation. I went down and kneeled at the altar and my life changed forever.
After studying at The Ohio State University and Indiana Wesleyan, I went to Liberty University to be trained in ministry where I obtained a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry. That led me to 20+ years of pastoring and planting churches on the west coast and in the midwest. It also opened doors for me to teach at a variety of colleges and seminaries.
I started teaching at Grace remotely in Indianapolis in 2013-2014. Then in 2018, I accepted a full-time position at the Grace campus.
As a church planter in various states, were there any cultural differences between the two regions that affected the church planting process?
Every area of church planting has geographical differences. California was a very busy atmosphere, and Christian values were challenged there. Due to the fast pace of life, relationships were harder to foster and maintain within the church. In the midwest, there is a slower pace of life, and most people share the priorities of community and family and center their lives around these values.
What do you enjoy about teaching college students?
I enjoy the “aha” moments when the content and understanding with the student connect and it is a revelation moment for them. When a student can take the content from a course and make it applicable for their work and ministry, it is a very rewarding moment as a teacher.
I am also very passionate about helping students enter the ministry in a healthy capacity, or if they are seasoned pastors, I enjoy coaching them to regain their overall health to remain in life-giving ministry, which is what the Center for Thriving Leaders is all about. So I’m excited to get to lead that initiative.
What advice would you give a student entering the seminary?
It’s simple: you enter the ministry because you are called. You serve Jesus and keep that relationship precious. Don’t lose your priorities along the way.
Are you called to ministry? Learn more about the programs we offer which are all designed to help teach, train, and transform ministry leaders for Christ and His church.
Alumnus of The Ohio State University, earning a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Church Administration in 1995. Earned a M.A. in Ministerial Leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University and a M.Div. and D.Min at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Trent has 20+ years of experience teaching and writing Bible, ministry, and leadership related courses, advising, and mentoring students at both undergraduate and seminary levels. Trent also has 20+ years of pastoring and planting churches on the West Coast and in the Midwest. 15+ years working in college administration. Currently, Instructional Support Manager and Director of Master of Arts in Ministry for Grace College and Seminary.