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Alumni Q and A with Paul Akin



Q: Tell us about your ministry and family.

A: I am presently serving on staff at the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala. as the director of Mid-Term Mission. My job is to equip and send people out to share the gospel and make disciples for a period of two months to two years.

After two years of living overseas, my wife and I moved back to the U.S. in August 2010, and that September I started working at Brook Hills. In December of 2010, I graduated from Southeastern.

My wife Kari and I have four children; Micah is almost six, Jordan is three, Kai is two, and Skylar was born on Feb. 13 of this year.

Q: Why Southeastern?

A: During my undergraduate years at Union University, God really began to burden my heart for unreached peoples around the world. I knew that Southeastern was going to be the best place for me to be equipped for ministry here or overseas.

Q: What was your most influential moment at Southeastern?

A: At the 20/20 Conference on Missions when I was at Southeastern, Nik Ripken, a missionary and author, led a breakout session on the persecuted church. God really used that to open my eyes to both the reality and challenges that our persecuted brothers and sisters face on a daily basis.

Q: What is the greatest joy that you have as a pastor?

A: I love seeing people come to understand that they have a role to play in the Great Commission. I love seeing people become passionate about unreached peoples, start praying for them and then take the steps to reach them with the gospel.

Q: What challenges do you face as a pastor?

A: Getting young men to spend extended period of times on the mission field. I have been blessed to send some mature young men to the nations over the past few years, but for the most part there are many more ladies who are responding to God’s call to go to the nations. It is a challenge to help men understand how needed and valuable they are in unreached contexts.

Q: What advice do you have for current and future pastors?

A: I would tell them that they must remember that this world is not our home. We’re sojourners, we’re strangers on the earth, and Paul says that our citizenship is in heaven. The Lord has been teaching me a lot about this lately, and I think understanding that should change the way that we live our lives.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

A: I love traveling, reading, and spending time with my family. I’m currently working on a Ph.D. at Southeastern in Applied Theology, so I spend a lot of time reading. I’ve recently started doing Crossfit. That has been a huge outlet for me to interact with lost people.

Q: What was your favorite class or professor at Southeastern?

A: In Introduction to Missiology Dr. Bruce Ashford helped me see for the first time the missional nature of the entire Bible. Missions isn’t just some sort of program or side thing, but it is central to the message of the entire Bible.

Q: What is one book that everyone should read?

A: I recently read a small book written by John Piper called “Risk is Right.” Piper has a unique ability to inspire people through his writing, but this book helps believers think about how to take wise, but worthy, risks for the sake of the gospel.

Q: What has God been teaching you lately?

A: With the recent birth of our fourth child, the Lord has been teaching me that, “To whom much is given, much is required.” The Lord has blessed me, he has blessed our family, he has blessed the church where I serve, and yet I am reminded that with those blessings comes responsibility.

Q: Southeastern is known as a Great Commission seminary, how did Southeastern prepare you to be a Great Commission pastor?

A: God used my time at Southeastern to fuel my passion for missions, but also provided the theological groundings that I needed to put missions into practice. Southeastern did a great job of teaching the inseparable relationship between theology and mission.

SEBTS Contact:
Amy Whitfield, Director of Communications

About Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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  • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.
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