Several times a year, Dr. Swindoll preaches in chapel at DTS and engages in a question-and-answer time with prospective students. Here are some of the questions he answered recently.
How does your wife, Cynthia, enhance your ministry?
Cynthia has loved Christ more intensely and more consistently than I ever have. It’s what drew me to her. She really loves Christ, and she wants excellence for me. When I haven’t done my best, she knows it. She’ll approach me all alone—never to embarrass me—and will say, “We probably need to talk.” I think, “Oh, no.” She gently encourages me to do my best and offers to help me. “If there’s anything I need to do to protect your time, let me know.” That’s my Cynthia—the most unselfish person I’ve ever known in my life.
You’ve taken all sorts of ministry avenues in your life. What gets you excited and what makes you say to yourself, “This is what I was created to do”?
Jim Elliot once said, “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” Honestly, I feel energized in every phase of what I do. In the past, I tried to fake it, but it never worked so I decided to let the cracks show. What you see is what you get on a Sunday morning. During staff meetings, I feel energized about what we’re doing. Obviously, you’re not going to see me go after it like I do when I’m preaching. I do get excited about our church, the ministry, and the direction we are going.
When I study God’s Word, I can’t imagine doing anything else. That has been true since I first sat down in my classes here at DTS. I believe this place offers the greatest opportunity, and represents the greatest privilege, any person called into ministry will ever have. I made the most of it and felt excited. I knew I was called to study at DTS and each year my enthusiasm grew.
As I became more aware of God’s Word and how valuable and relevant it is, my excitement surged. I don’t make his Word relevant—it is relevant. When I see lives being affected by it, I am contagiously excited about it. I can hardly sleep on Saturday nights—I cannot wait for Sunday morning knowing it is my privilege to do what I’m called to do.