On Friday and Saturday last week, I visited Milton Keynes for the first time to attend the first training block of Leadership Foundations; the leadership and theology course that I’m doing this year as part of my Pastoral Internship with Oasis Church. It was a really great couple of days spent looking at the Theology of Scripture and Hermeneutics – or in other words, why the Bible is important and how we interpret what it says.

In a topic like that, it would be easy to get lost in the multitude of complicated words and concepts, but Andrew (the course director and speaker for the two days) was excellent in ensuring that things remained accessible through creative illustrations, had real practical applications, and heavy theology was broken up with humour and frequent Q&As (and coffee breaks!).

One thing that really struck me was the variety of people there. Some, like me, were freshly graduated and involved in part-time work with their churches, some had just arrived from different countries to move to the UK, some worked with UCCF helping students reach students and some had full-time jobs in all sorts of areas. There were even a few people who had been elders of their churches for 20 years, and wanted to go deeper in undertaking a more practical theological course!

From 20-somethings to grandparents, men and women from all over the country, all united by a desire to hunger after Jesus; to seek more of Him and learn to love Him more with all of their heart, all of their soul, all of their mind, and all of their strength. Meeting such a mix of people was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to spending the next year working through some big questions with them! I also met a lovely couple called Martin and Ros, who I’m staying with on the Friday nights of the course. I definitely didn’t expect to be greeted by a full roast dinner (very tasty indeed), but am exceedingly thankful for their warm and generous welcome!

There’s fortunately a whole month now to chew over everything I learnt over the two days, along with a few assignments to complete, but I’m already looking forward to being back again.

Originally posted on Richard’s blog – heartforeternity.wordpress.com


Photo: Sam Arnold

By Richard Bowpitt

Rich helps look after communications for Catalyst and also works for Oasis Church, Birmingham. He’s a fan of sharing stories that connect people together, Portsmouth FC, and Test Match Cricket!