News and Articles

14 March 2017

Formation School: a key investment for the future

Paul Allcock Paul Allcock Director of Formation School
Formation School - group work

Formation School is all about growing leaders who will go on to make disciples, with the vision that this process of disciple making will be repeated through successive generations of believers. What a privilege to be involved with this initiative!

About this time last year we began the process of advertising and recruiting our first group of students for Formation School, building on the four years of experience gained on the School of Missional Disciplemaking, and it has been so exciting to see the journey God has taken us on.

Formation School - coffee and biscuits

The response was very encouraging and we exceeded our target of 24 students, ending up with a group of 27 with a good mix of men and women, students from seven different churches, six nationalities and with an age spread from late teens to mid-fifties. There is also quite a range in terms of spiritual maturity and leadership experience, we currently have several who are carrying significant responsibility but you do not have to be an established leader to apply!

From the first weekend we sensed a high level of enthusiasm and commitment and a willingness to be real about issues. We have just passed the halfway point in the year and I am increasingly convinced of the benefits the course offers. It is a very special blend of teaching, training, and developing accountable relationships. There is regular opportunity for discussion and practical sessions to develop skills and confidence in using them. The quality of teaching is very high and although each of the track leaders is from Above Bar Church, we have a good range of teachers from different church backgrounds, which brings a richness and breadth to the learning experience.

Formation School - discussion

Each Tuesday from about 5.45pm, students begin to arrive, many come in straight from work bringing pots/containers of food to sustain them through the evening; people chat and catch up on the week until we get started. We normally have a double session with an hour sandwiched between them for a huddle or related activity in the large groups. Although it’s quite a long evening it has been good to see how well levels of concentration are maintained.

As we look ahead we are praying that this year we will recruit a group of about 30 students who will begin the course in September. Formation School is a big commitment – it is hard work and there is both a time and cash commitment but we look at it as a key investment for the future.

More details of the course and the application process are available at We also welcome visitors to come and experience an evening — please email if you would like to come.



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