Equipping a new generation of missional leaders
New college units are being prepared that will make 'a vital contribution in equipping Baptist ministers for the particular challenges of the increasingly post-Christendom context'
Last year the Baptists Together Mission Forum funded a partnership project with Spurgeon’s College to create a new formation pathway for pioneering Baptist ministers. The Revd Dr Sally Mann (an accredited Baptist minister, lecturer in Sociology, and pioneer in East London) was appointed as the course writer, and she has nearly completed the first phase of her work. This has involved an extensive listening exercise, involving experienced theological educators as well as experienced pioneers and Christian leaders. So far more than 200 people have been consulted through an online survey www.bit.ly/sallysurvey and face-to-face meetings.
The preliminary work concludes on Saturday 1 February, when Sally is hosting a Listening Conference at Wallis House in Birmingham. Those with experience in pioneering and a desire to help shape new forms of Baptist ministry are very welcome to be part of the conversation. Register at http://bit.ly/2pnQDRj and come prepared with ideas for resources, examples of best practice and a willingness share your wisdom.
Some of the proposed units give an indication of the exiting themes within this new pathway:
Justice and Peace Making which will include training in community organising with Citizens UK;
Baptist Theology of Place to explore how ministers can be ‘place makers’ in their communities;
A module in social science training to help new ministers understand culture;
Training in leadership and change-management;
Engaging with the growing demographic of Nones and Gones who seek spirituality outside of the church; and
New units in spiritual formation tailored for pioneers, focussing on practices to aid discernment and build resilience.
Spurgeon’s is the first college to commit to include these units for their new intake of pioneers in September 2020.
Once complete the units and resources Sally is bringing together will be available to all of the Baptist colleges to sit alongside their provision as they see fit. These developments will be a valuable addition to the existing ministerial formation pathways, and a vital contribution in equipping Baptist ministers for the particular challenges of the increasingly post-Christendom context.