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21 February 2020

Formation School: am I dreaming?

Chris Webb 2019 Chris Webb Minister
Formation School 2016 - 6

I have a dream.

I know this has been done before, but I have a dream where future shepherds of little flocks will be trained and equipped to look after their own souls, will be helped and aided to handle the Bible accurately and confidently and given tools to carry out Jesus’ commission to make disciples. I have a dream where these future shepherds of little flocks can set aside a few months to be equipped to engage wisely with a biblical worldview in our changing culture as they huddle together to develop their gifts, grow in their evangelistic passions and sharpen their newly-given tools.

This year I have seen part of this dream become reality as director of Formation School. I have been blessed to see the commitment and enthusiasm of our sixteen students as they gather on Tuesday evenings from 6.15pm to 9.45pm. I have also been encouraged as a huddle leader, as our little group has grown in openness. We have also all seen answers to prayer as we have supported each other.

Formation School is a discipleship school which seeks to serve churches in the area by raising up and equipping disciple-making leaders. Many of us don’t like to see ourselves as shepherds or leaders. But if we think of leadership as influencing others, all of us are leaders at some level, whether that be as a parent, a youth leader, a Bible-study leader or even a friend who is seeking to lead another friend to Christ.

Sometimes the impression is given that Formation School is something church interns do for a year as part of their programme. But on our course – along with Transform workers and Friends International workers – we have a lady in her seventies, we have young parents and professionals in the business and the public sector who all want to use their lives to fulfil Christ’s great commission.

As one of our alumni put it:

“I think Formation School opened up my view of what it is to live out my faith, that is how I do my job, how I relate to friends and colleagues; that actually as an engineer, as a husband, as a friend, and with the various hats I wear: I am in full-time christian ministry.” (Nick)

One of our themes at the start of this year at Above Bar Church has been “growing deeper, reaching wider.” Formation School exists to equip people to do exactly that as we dig deeper into biblical exegesis, culture, spiritual formation and discipleship and as we reach wider – learning tools to understand and engage our culture effectively.

I wonder if you might consider being part of the dream of developing a shepherds’ heart and shepherding skills in order to serve God’s people and the world more effectively.

Perhaps Formation School could be for you. There will be a couple of sessions for you to come and observe and try it out for yourself. Why not come to 69 Above Bar Street for a taster on either 25th February at 7pm or 21st April at 6.15pm?

Visit our website for more: formationschool.org

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