For me, the Catalyst Leadership & Theology training course has been invaluable. As a youth worker who had previously engaged in the Impact training course, it seemed like a no-brainer to develop a deeper understanding of leadership and theology when I was made aware of this 2-year programme.
Upon starting the course, I felt like I knew less than most of the others in the room, so it was helpful when Andrew Wilson, who heads up the course, encouraged us to ask questions at any point for clarity if we needed it. This is one of the benefits to how the teaching is structured, by allowing Q&A time after most hourly blocks. Those teaching us have also been good at providing response activities to what we’ve been learning. This has helped to both consolidate and expand upon the teaching. Such response activities are often varied, whether it be a group discussion about a Bible passage, or a drama of some sort. Having a variety of learning mechanisms like this and regular breaks in-between teaching sessions helps to make two full days of teaching more manageable. The breaks also give you time to have either a mental breather, or an opportunity to digest a thought process that has been provoked from the teaching.
On a personal level, the balance between Calvinist and Arminian teaching has been a wrestle for me over the years. For example, in the past I have been taught the doctrine of predestination from a less balanced perspective, which I have found really challenging to find peace over. What has been particularly helpful for me on this training course, is how the Biblical teaching on this subject has been taught in a balanced way. Andrew used ‘the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart’ to show how it was both Pharaoh and God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart, not just one or the other. I have found this balanced style of teaching to be a constant theme throughout the many subjects we’ve covered, by weighing up everything the Bible says before jumping to conclusions. This has also helped to facilitate more open discussions about subject matters which people may disagree on.
Since lockdown due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued having Catalyst training sessions online by using Zoom. This has honestly worked really well, even for a time of worship at the start for those who want to. We have still managed to have good discussion times in ‘breakout rooms’ and opportunities for Q&A. Regular breaks between sessions have ensured that ‘screen-ache’ isn’t an issue. Don’t be put off about the prospect of starting this course in September 2020 on Zoom!
Whether you have been studying leadership & theology for years, or feel theologically inadequate at times like myself, the Catalyst Leadership & Theology training programme will definitely benefit you! We are so blessed nowadays to have so many gifted leadership & theology teachers around, and this course is effectively structured to make the most of them. I’m grateful for how they’ve equipped me.
Written by James Hickman