At a recent meeting of the school governors it was decided to focus attention on the development of the Distance Learning and Extension Programmes. The need for a much more flexible access to the curriculum is seen as a priority, as well as being necessary to sustain a residential programme in the medium to long term. To this end a new strategy paper, A Bible School For Our Time, has been compiled to help move things forward as development continues.
“The world is in as much need of salvation as ever. People are living and dying without ever hearing the simple message of the cross of Jesus. Paul wrote to Roman believers asking “how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent?” One might be tempted to ask: “and how will they be sent unless they are first prepared? And where will they become prepared if there is no provision for training?”
The people of God have always needed servants who will devote themselves more fully to the mission of God, according to the abilities and opportunities he provides. They need shepherds and teachers, those who will feed them with the Word that is able to build them up and keep them from harm. The need to teach others “who will be able to teach others as well” is as vital now as it ever has been. But without adequate training there would be no workers prepared to take the message of Christ into an increasingly hostile world. And without thorough grounding in the Word it would only be a matter of time before essential truths of Scripture were lost or forgotten amidst ever-increasing moves towards secularism.
Training God’s people for mission may take many approaches. Traditional full-time classroom-based training has its place, as do more contemporary methods involving distance and part-time learning. Apprenticeship and In-Service Education and Training might also play an important part as seen perhaps in a number of New Testament examples. Whatever methods may be employed, training is essential and must be part of the planning of any mission-minded people – to train those who have been won to Christ to win others also. Rufus Anderson, the 19th century mission strategist who was particularly concerned with the self-propagation of local mission work, wrote: “Without education, it is not possible for mission churches to be in any proper sense self-governed; nor, without it, will they be self-supported, and much less self-propagating.” The importance of education and training among the people of Christ has long been recognised as essential to healthy growth.”
The paper continues where the initial strategy document left off, with a further analysis of statistics relating to student numbers and the proportion of those coming from the U.K. It briefly reviews recent developments before addressing the issues of vision and curriculum relevance. Access to the curriculum is a major consideration and the rationale behind the focus on flexible provision.
If any with a particular interest in the development of the school would like to see a copy of this paper, please get in touch with us.