Assemblies of God Theological SeminaryJune 2015
I Call You Friend!


Valuing friendships seems to naturally shift into high gear as we grow older. It's not that they aren't valued, regardless of your age, it's just that they become a more highly valued "currency" as age creeps forward. I am at a season in life where friendships, not the accomplishments or stuff I've accumulated, seem to glitter more like gold than ever before. I suppose it has much to do with the fact that I am in the transition out of my role as seminary president and this is the last one of these reflections that I will write in this role.


Jesus makes a statement in John 15:15 indicating that friendship includes allowing people into the details of our lives. He says, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you."


I recently saw an article in USA Today that offers some sturdy support for the valuing of friendships, including my acknowledgement that it is a function of age. Ted Fishman noted in Friendship's Power Punch that research indicates much of our personality builds from the qualities we first copy and then absorb from friends. Adults who socialize often with good friends live longer than those with few friends who socialize less. A Harvard study, which followed subjects for 75 years, concluded that strong friendships are the most important ingredient to long-term well-being. Additionally, adults who have a friend they see regularly can add as much to their personal well-being as the impact of an extra $100,000 a year in salary. 


But here we are in the twenty-first century in our highly developed nation where smaller households and, most likely, fewer neighbors means diminished human interaction. People commute long distances to stare at screens and multi-task with other gizmos while feeling more isolated than ever before. We post nonsense on social media just to find out if any of our "friends" "like" what we offer as "I'm sure you needed to know this" information. But if you ask someone in their 80s or 90s what troubles them most, they will inevitably respond, "All my friends are gone!" Too many people discover too late in life how central friendship has been.


So these words are not earthshaking, just the musings of a retiring seminary president who is taking a deep breath and contemplating the next season. I have lots of friends who I can see face-to-face and because it is the twenty-first century, even more friends who I converse with in virtual reality. I am grateful for you all.


I am also grateful in God's providence that a good friend will succeed me as president of AGTS. Dr. Mark Hausfeld is a passionate follower of Jesus. He has been an urban church planter and a missionary in Central Asia. He is an accomplished mission scholar with broad relationships in the larger Pentecostal and Evangelical Communities. I am so pleased a person who embodies Knowledge on Fire will now lead this wonderful seminary community I have been privileged to serve over the last sixteen years.


There is only one problem with Mark taking my place here at AGTS. While we are both proud Chicagoans, he roots for the wrong team. How anyone could root for the White Sox is beyond the imagination of this Northsider!


And that's the way I see it!



Byron D. Klaus, President

Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

AGTS  Announces  New  President

Following a national search with the help of CarterBaldwin Executive Search, Evangel University president, Dr. Carol Taylor, is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Hausfeld has been appointed by the Board of Trustees as president of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS) at Evangel University.

And  That's  the  Way  I  See  It!   Vol.  2

Dr. Klaus reflect on critical issues that have emerged over the last sixteen years. These reflective commentaries offer insights that take culture seriously and the Bible authoritatively. 


Coming  this  Fall


Look for Dr. Klaus' new commentary on
culture and following Jesus


Assemblies of God Theological Seminary      1435 N. Glenstone      Springfield, Missouri   65802          417-268-1000