NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Ken Gardoski: Influencing for Christ
Ken Gardoski is an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Baptist Bible Seminary and a BBS alumnus (M.Div., Th.M., 1990). He was born in Brooklyn, PA, a small town about 40 minutes north of campus. Now a resident of Clarks Summit, PA, he and his wife, Sharon, have been married for 25 years and have three children: Laura, 20; Karis, 18; and Joel, 13. Laura and Karis are both students at BBC.
Dr. Gardoski is a deacon at Heritage Baptist Church in Clarks Summit, and serves there as an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher. He and Sharon also serve in AWANA together. A professor at BBS since 2000, he has served in a number of teaching and ministry areas, including eight years as a missionary to Poland.
He recently participated in a panel discussion on faith in challenging times on WYOU in Scranton.
Watch the discussion here.
Read more In the Spotlights here.
What brought you to BBS?
I am an alumnus of BBS and thought very highly of the Seminary as a student. The opportunity to return as a teacher was too great to pass up.
What attracted you to BBS as a student?
My pastor at the time was a BBS alumnus and he directed me toward BBS. But another influential ministry leader at the time also pointed me toward BBS because he knew the Seminary was adding a new internship program that would bring an added dimension of preparation to the M.Div. degree. He was right, and now I am part of that same program as an instructor.
What do you appreciate the most about BBC&S?
I appreciate the balance we have between academics, having a heart for God, and ministry practice. "Head, Hands, Heart" isn't just a catchy slogan, it's who we are and who we need to always be.
Can you give an example?
When our M.Div. students finish their courses they spend an entire academic year in a local church setting. During that time they minister alongside the pastors. They have the great opportunity to put into practice all they learned in their classes about the Word of God and ministering to people.
What led you to ministry?
God clearly called me to vocational ministry during a missions conference in my local church in 1985. A missionary challenged me from Acts 13 with the fact that God calls people from every local church to pursue vocational ministry. I knew God was calling me.
In what areas have you served?
I served for 10 years as a missionary educator, for 10 years with Baptist Mid-Missions (eight years in Poland), and I am just completing nine years teaching here at BBS.
Can you tell me about the time you spent in Poland?
My family and I served there for eight years. We spent one year in Lublin in language school and then seven years in Warsaw, the capitol city. We worked with several other Americans and Polish national pastors in founding a seminary and planting an independent Baptist church outside of Warsaw.
We enjoyed our ministry there very much. It was certainly a stretching time to live in another culture and learn another language. But by the grace of God I got to the point where I could preach in our church and teach Bible and theology classes in our seminary entirely in the Polish language. My most interesting experience was teaching, as an American, a class in Biblical Hebrew, in the Polish language, to Russian-speaking students.
What are some ways you have seen God working in your life and the lives of those you have ministered to?
Our cross-cultural ministry was amazing. Teaching Bible and theology in Eastern Europe was a great experience. Teaching men training for the ministry now at BBS is just as great. Teaching the Bible keeps me humble since the more I study the more I realize what I still don't know. Seeing men I have taught go on and excel in ministry and knowing I have had a small part in their preparation is the most rewarding thing.
What was your recent experience with WYOU?
WYOU had for some time an interactive feature as part of their news broadcast called WYOU Interactive. They would feature all sorts of topics and invite guests in to discuss and also invite the viewing audience to call or email in questions or comments.
I was asked to participate in a panel discussion on the subject of "The Role of Faith in Hard Times." The host posed questions related to the subject and tied it in to our current economic woes. Each of us responded to the subject. He interspersed this with taking calls and reading emails sent in from viewers.
What was your response to the issues presented?
I was able to share that even we who are believers can struggle in difficult times. When things are going well, it is easy for us to trust God. But when times are hard, we are forced to confront the question of where our trust really is: in the Lord Jesus Christ or something else.
In response to the question of whether or not God is the one who caused our current economic crisis as punishment, I shared that I get nervous when people claim to be able to read God's mind and know exactly what He is doing in the world and why. I related the incident in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus pointed to a local disaster (people killed by a falling tower) in order to say that those who suffered weren't worse sinners than anyone else, but rather "unless you repent you will also perish". So I said that when disasters come it is an opportunity for all of us to ask ourselves what we are really trusting in.
What was the outcome?
It was an excellent albeit frustrating opportunity. The frustration was that the actual time allotted to me to speak was so short. The good thing was that God enabled me to make some comments directly related to the Gospel in the context of the discussion.
B.S., Clarion University
M.Div., Baptist Bible Seminary
Th.M., Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Learn more about Baptist Bible Seminary here.
The story of Baptist Bible College & Seminary is best told through the lives of students and alumni. Share your story and tell others how God has been leading in your life. Visit www.bbc.edu/yourstory.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers 38 academic programs, from a one-year Bible Certificate to PhDs. Programs are available on the Clarks Summit campus, online, and through several distance learning options. To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 4/30/2009 3:06:03 PM
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