Crosslands was our solution: the view from an alumnus
Two Sundays into our new church plant I started my training on the Crosslands Seminary Course. Leading a team of 16 to plant into ‘our’ estates in inner city Birmingham, I had a solid sense of calling, plenty of passion and big faith in God’s power in our weakness. But not a lot else. As a church we were small, young, inexperienced and relatively poor.
Several of our core team had some theological and ministry training, through apprenticeships and the like. But I was not one of them. It was a weakness we made a priority of addressing; it was one of our most important decisions.
But there was too much momentum and providential leading towards a church being established for me to disappear off for 2-3 years training elsewhere.
Crosslands was our solution.
The commitment to theological rigor, practical edge and flexibility to equip those already in the trenches of ministry was perfect for me. For most of my studies, I regularly worked 30-35 hours a week as a lawyer whilst also launching the church. Sometimes it was gruelling. But it worked and provided me just what I needed in the way that I needed it.
Crosslands made a difference. My reformed convictions grew in depth and clarity. My theology richer, yet warmer. My compulsion towards the great need and worth of church planting intensified.
And our church is far healthier for Crosslands’ input. Seminars on the doctrine of the Trinity matured my preaching; pastoral case studies were immediately applied into real-life situations; the focus on ministry reflections enabled me to work through a robust approach to the administration of the sacraments in our church. Everything had an edge.
Almost a year on from my Crosslands studies, I regularly find myself referring to the set texts or lecture notes. And I continue to benefit from the ministry partners I connected with there - men and women involved in the same project of church planting and familiar with the unique burdens and joys that come with it.