One Year as the Lead for Continuing Ministry Development
By Andrew Clarke
Over the past twelve months, I have occasionally described myself as a glorified hat-stand – a piece of furniture designed to carry more than one hat at a time! Let me explain.
If you were to list areas where our Union of Baptist Churches and our Baptist College have most in common it would surely include our commitment to the training and education of disciples for their kingdom task. This happens to be the main focus of my role as ‘CMD Lead’, but also of my role as the Director of the Scottish Baptist College’s Northern Hub.
At times this overlap might create a moment of confusion – for you as much as for me! Which email address should I/you use? However, the benefits are overwhelmingly greater, as I try to capitalise on seamless ways of interacting with students, church leaders and ministers, regardless of whether they are involved in Continuing Ministry Development workshops, Lead Academy Learning Communities, weekly Lunchtime Conversations for Ministers, College courses, or the increasing array of lifelong learning opportunities developed by the College, many of which are now available through Zoom, right around the country.
Happily, this overlap in roles also generates increasing possibilities for events to be co-hosted. One upcoming example is a CMD workshop for Church ministers that will also serve as a College seminar for students – Revd Dr Steve Holmes (St Andrews), ‘The Lord’s Supper and Reconciliation’ (18 November).
Another shared venture, beginning this autumn, is a regular programme of convenient ‘evening classes’, ranging widely across biblical, theological, ethical and practical topics. The disarmingly simple pattern will be for once-a-week, one-hour sessions, spread over four consecutive weeks. These will be co-hosted by both our Baptist Union and our Baptist College. Their key selling point will be accessibility: delivered interactively and online, and available for all members of our churches – no necessary prior learning or reading.
The first two mini-courses will be:
‘What are they saying about: How to Read the Bible as Story?’ (Sunday evenings in October)
‘What are they saying about: How our Communal Worship shapes our Attitude to the Environment?’ (Sunday evenings in November)
For further details, see scottishbaptistcollege.org