News and Articles
23 November 2016
Paul Allcock and Thompy Wright, who are the director and co-director of Formation School, write about how the first year in the new format is going.
Formation School began in September, having grown out of our School of Missional Disciple-making. The format has now changed so that we meet on six Saturdays and 36 Tuesday evenings through the year. The purpose is to equip leaders who make disciples. It has been a really encouraging start. We have 27 students who come from six different churches and six different countries. We don’t quite cross six decades in age, though they do go from late teens to people in their 50s.
We are delighted by the the way that the students have engaged with the material. They have a real heart to learn, and already there is a strong sense of community developing in the group. So thank you for your prayers, and please continue to pray for this group of students, as well as for those we trust will come on the course in future years.
Here’s what a couple of students said about it in a recent morning service:
Getting the big picture
It’s been a great opportunity to really engage in making disciples. I really enjoyed the Bible overview, seeing how it all fits together in the big picture. The huddle times been really great, too – meeting together in small groups to reflect on our own discipleship.
Going deeper with God
I sensed that God was calling me to go deeper with him – perhaps he has a hold on my life for something different. I wanted to explore this through Formation School, through the whole variety of things we do there. I don’t quite know where this journey is going to take me, but so far I’ve been really blessed, challenged, and encouraged through the variety of teaching and by the teachers themselves.
One thing I have particularly found helpful is the idea of spiritual formation: how does God work in us and then through us? We talk about being blessed to be a blessing, and I have a very real sense that God wants to bless us more in order to make us more of a blessing to other people.
I have been really blessed by sharing this experience with other people on the course. The excitement and enthusiasm of the young people has been really good to see. I hope and pray that, through this year, we can be an encouragement back to the teachers as we become more the people God wants us to be.
A learning community
We are trying to build a sense of community within Formation School. Through learning in formal sessions and less formal discussions, and breaking up into small groups to talk about what God is actually doing in our lives, we are creating a learning community. So please pray for us, because it is very clear in the Bible that it is God, through his Holy Spirit, who forms Christ in us and enables us to help form Christ in others. So when you hear something about Formation School, don’t just dismiss it as just being for other people; at least shoot up a quick prayer for us, please.
If Formation School intrigues you and interests you, and you think, ‘Maybe I’d like to be more focused and intentional about seeing Christ formed in me, and helping others to do the same,’ then have a look at our website. In the New Year, we will be opening up for applications for our next intake, which will be in September 2017. Pick up one of the flyers from around the church, or come and talk to any of us who are involved. We’d love to tell you more about it.