How Theological Training helped me prepare for pastoral ministry

There’s been a flurry of articles online recently about the plusses and minuses of theological education.

I want to share a few thoughts here about the positives of formal theological education and why I recommend it.[1]  There’s a temptation to see training as primarily academic and therefore irrelevant to the day to day life of ministry.  There’s probably a whole wider discussion to be had about the assumption that academic and practical must be diametrically opposed but I will limit myself to a few comments here: Continue reading

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Come and Train with us – ActBC Trainees

Hannes being commissioned for return to Austria

We are offering training opportunities to people who are seriously investigating a calling to urban mission – i.e. Church Planting and/or church revitalisation in inner city and estate contexts. Our own immediate concern is to encourage church planting and revitalisation in the urban West Midlands (especially, Sandwell, West Birmingham and the Black Country). However, we also would love to see people going on to pastoral ministry in other contexts (we have already see one trainee, Hannes return to Austria as an associate pastor).

Training with us will include:

Training in Theology, Pastoral Counselling and Bible teaching. This will be through: Continue reading

Reforming our Theological Training -Who is Responsible?

The latest contribution to the conversation about Theological Training comes from John Benton, editor of Evangelicals Now.

His commentary article is available online at https://www.e-n.org.uk/2018/05/commentary/re-jigging-our-colleges/69b27/?platform=hootsuite as well as in the latest edition (hint – E-N is the best monthly Christian magazine/newspaper out there, so if don’t already subscribe, please do). Continue reading

Why is theological training vital for urban mission?

We are committed to training people for urban mission. A significant part of that training includes practical experience of Gospel ministry but it also includes a lot of “Theology.”

Now, “Theology” at times has had a bad reputation. It can be a bit of a dirty word, especially amongst those who see the urgency of the mission and get frustrated by those who seem to be bogged down in the theory.

Theology is often associated with academia. It is seen as remote, cerebral and out of touch. It has often been linked to liberalism and the denial of Scripture’s authority and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yet, theology, properly speaking and done properly is the planter and the preacher’s best friend. Indeed, no-one should be preaching without taking time to study some theology. Those seem like strong words, so why do I say them? Continue reading

Training pastors and planters for urban contexts in context (part 2 – The curriculum)

I want to continue the conversation by talking a little about the type of curriculum I would like to see in a local church context and how that can be delivered. Continue reading

What are we doing to help encourage and support urban mission?

In the last post I mentioned two ways in which churches and individuals in wealthier parts of the country could support urban ministry in needy areas. Continue reading

Urban mission lessons from the Acts Mission to the Gentiles

This is one of those “What if? Thought exercises” so disclaimers include that it doesnt come with tight exegesis, I am not saying this is how to apply Acts 8-15 and I am not proposing this as a definite strategy. However, our Union Learning Community were discussing how the Gentiles were included in the church and it got me thinking about what this might look like in terms of contemporary urban mission. Continue reading