What training on Impact looks like – day in the life

As part of my Impact year (aka ‘FP’ – Frontier Project – amongst some Newfrontiers folks) we – that is the London base, 30-odd Impact-ers spread across various London churches – take three days out of every month for training.

This month we trooped out to Bracknell and stayed in an outdoors activity centre-y place (Oakwood Youth Challenge) where we spent half a day doing some outdoors-y activities before we drove over to Kerith Community Church to hear lead elder Simon Benham speak on church culture and coconuts&peaches (based on his book). In the evening we had Forum – a Q&A session – with him and his wife Catrina. Such a down-to-earth, real couple, it was awesome hearing their story and learning from their experiences.

On Wednesday we learned about pastoral care with Hilary Dalziel who heads up pastoral care at King’s Church London. What stood out most for me was time we spent on pastoral care across cultural divides. I love me a talk on culture!

Thursday saw us having a day with Ben Davies, who pastored Kerith for 43 years before Simon. Seriously – this guy is dangerous for the Kingdom. He was probably the owner of the weirdest combination of abrasive, unashamed honesty and raw, open-hearted love I’ve ever encountered. Fearlessly trampling over pride, ignorance and prejudice, but passionate about people and being welcoming and loving towards others. Loved his talk on the church and what it should look like, really welcomed his talk on believers’ baptism and communion, but the highlight for me had to be his 30 observations on the church – what we don’t but should do. That was massively challenging, and he ended by saying, “This stuff is dangerous – either you’ll listen, respond to it and become more soft-hearted and clear-eyed, or you’ll ignore it and become hard-hearted and dim-sighted.” Dangerous, indeed. I’ll post them up later so you can really see what that means!

The day with Ben ended with a short time of prayer and prophecy, then I was driven back to Wimbledon and caught a train the rest of the way home to Camden.

As usual, at the end of it all I am shattered. Peopled-out, but feeling edified and more Kingdom-prepared!

PS. We weren’t around for a Sunday, but the welcome we experienced at Kerith in our few days there makes me really curious to see how that incredible hospitality translates for a church service. We really were made much of – learned loads about ‘peachy’ culture.