Sabbatical

From June – August, I’m on sabbatical. Our church encourages all elders to take a sabbatical every seven years, that includes when we are paid to work for the church. The principles behind this is simple: Continue reading

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#ActBC Trainee opportunities

We have opportunities for people to train with us in urban mission and church planting.  We are looking for individuals and couples who believe that they have a calling to share the good news about Jesus in our urban communities with a particular focus on estate and inner city ministry. Continue reading

Reforming Theological Education – further thoughts on the conversation

There’s been this little conversation going on about the best way to provide theological training for ministry.  Questions include:

–          Must theological training always happen in seminaries and on campus or is there a place for in context, local church-based training?

–          Is theological training too academic in nature and are there ways of equipping people through more ‘vocational’ methods?

Reading blogs and twitter feeds, I get the impression that some people are willing to concede that in context training may have a place but the general gist of it is that campus-based seminary training is better.

My position is that both seminary based and in context training have their place but that the in context and vocational training should and could be as effective at thoroughly equipping people for ministry.

I want to pick up on some of the reasons why by challenging some of the assumptions and arguments that I’ve heard.

Continue reading

Wanted: Urban Pioneer Church Planters

Sandwell and the Black Country need church planters. We need people to move into estates and into communities where there is no meaningful Gospel witness and to share their faith.

Just to be clear, we are not looking for pastors to come and look after new, ready made churches with 30 – 50 members. We are not even looking for team leaders to take charge of a core group ready to start the plant. Continue reading

Everyday People

Among the conversations about mission and particularly urban mission I’ve picked up on a tendency to polarise mission fields.  We seem to talk in terms of two mission fields

1.       Prosperous/well to do contexts where people are aiming to evangelise the elite as some kind of strategy in the hope that they will be reaching current and future leaders/ opinion shapers through camps, CUs etc

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Urban Ministry – Where to train

If you are serious about urban gospel ministry, then the best place to get trained for this is in the field, in an urban ministry context by urban ministry practitioners. There are currently three places in England where you can engage in this type of training whilst also working towards a Theological qualification with Union School of Theology Continue reading

The Five Church Urban Partnership Challenge

Last week on Twitter I suggested a “Five Church Challenge”.

The challenge is very simple. A few of us are trying to encourage partnership between churches in urban priority areas and churches in more prosperous areas. The aim is not simply to give a bit of money to a needy area but to form deep, long term relationships. Continue reading