Yesterday was my first day at college. Steph from our Leadership Team having decided to join me on the course we set off together at silly o’clock (otherwise known as before 7am) to get to Sheffield for breakfast at 8:30. And then suitably fortified by lots of coffee we embarked on the first day of training.
First impressions are very positive. Opening worship was really powerful, with such a sense of the presence of God among us as we sang his praises. And it never fails to amaze me what old hymns are being rediscovered in the context of contemporary worship – I wouldn’t have expected to ever sing again in corporate worship, “There is power, power, wonder-working power, in the precious blood of the lamb,” and in multi-part harmony too!
Being the first day there was lots of practical information about who everyone was, how to use the online learning environment, practical procedures for submitting assignments etc. But we also found time in the morning to reflect together on the nature of ministerial formation. This is not education, that is the receiving and understanding of knowledge, or training, that is the learning of practical skills. It encompasses both of these but also the formation of the whole person and character into what God desires it to be.
And in the afternoon community session, Daniel McGinnis, Head of Faculty, unpacked for us more of the vision of St Barnabas to train missional leaders with a vision to grow the church in the North of England – inspiring stuff!
So, one Monday down, 98 to go – looking forward to all that God is going to teach me over the next 3 years.