When I heard that the Salt & Light Preachers’ Training Course was coming to Derby this year, I snapped up the chance to attend. Newfrontiers have always been good at having in speakers from outside our network at conferences, but this opportunity to attend some training from outside our movement right on my doorstep seemed too good to miss. I have to say, I have been made to feel so welcome by those hosting the training and I guess having some good friends there from Community Church Derby has really helped that.
After we all gave short introductions to ourselves, the course started with Steve Thomas who leads the Salt & Light European Team teaching on “Is there still a place for preaching in the 21st Century?” The answer he gave was a resounding “yes”, but he went on to recognise that church life needs more than just preaching. He spoke from Acts 17, about when Paul was in Athens. Athens then was very similar to post-modern Britain today. We would do well to learn from how Paul communicated to his audience – seeking to connect with his listeners, quoting from their poets, recognising that the Athenians were searching for something – and he could lead them to see that was Jesus.
The second session was led by course tutor, Mike Beaumont from Oxfordshire. We looked at exegesis and hermeneutics – how understanding what scripture said to its original readers (exegesis) before we start applying it to now (hermeneutics) is so important. I hope to blog some more on this next week.
The final session today looked at different learning styles; how we all learn differently, and consequently for those of us who preach, are most likely to preach differently. I discovered I am an “almost off the scale” analytical learner. As with any learning style, this has its own strengths and weaknesses but most importantly, I need to be aware of how other people learn and ensure that I seek to teach in ways that help them too.
I am looking forward to being refreshed, stimulated and stretched this week. I am praying it will improve my preaching and help us in Jubilee to grow in all that God as for us. More thoughts to follow as the course progresses.