How the Crosslands Seminary course serves the local church

 

Serving as a pastor and church planter has given me a distinct perspective on the needs and challenges of theological training for future leaders. We want to equip our leaders with everything they need to serve churches well over a life of ministry, and we want to avoid pitfalls and detours that can hinder or distract from this pursuit.

The Crosslands Seminary Course has benefitted our church through materials that anchor students in sound theology while allowing them to remain in the context of our local community. The structure of the course is also a cost-effective option for the student in our church who needs to balance the cost of ministry training with the cost of living.

It is my conviction that pastors and elders should build-up leaders for future ministry in their own churches and to send out to other churches. As such, the local church is a vital setting for this holistic ministry training because learning experiences are in the context of ministry and mission rather than a detached classroom assignment. This approach also facilitates character development over time in the right setting of a church’s instruction and guidance.

The challenge of church-based ministry training is often the theological input. Theology establishes context, guards against error, and gives meaning and purpose to the activity of ministry - all these things are necessary and important for lasting and effective ministry. However, the Crosslands programme bridges this gap and provides the sound theological foundation that churches may not be able to deliver. In this way, our church can grow leaders from within and rely on a dependable source of theological training.

Our end goal should always be leaders who last in ministry. Along with a dedicated church and pastor, the Crosslands Seminary Course can help people begin the journey into life-long vocational ministry for the glory of God and the good of our churches and communities.

 

Jez Deering is pastor of OIKOS Community Church, an evangelical, independent church based in North Birmingham. The church is based on a community model that seeks to be a family of missionary servants, who make disciples who make disciples. They are also part of Acts 29.

Chris Rimmer