On a mission to make and grow disciples

Reflections on Cornhill Scotland

Posted by Alan Mcknight on June 24, 2015

Will Bell, ministry trainee at Harper shares some reflections as he completes his studies at Cornhill Scotland
A good friend suggested that I might follow the Cornhill training course.  After several years of preaching occasionally, teaching in Sunday schools and leading Bible study small groups, I finally decided to follow my friends advice.  I left ATLAS, CERN and the University of Geneva to return to Glasgow.  Having arrived back in Glasgow, I was asked to join Harper Church as the ministry trainee and quickly got involved in the classroom parts of the Cornhill Scotland training too.

The Cornhill Scotland training course contains a good mixture of different theological topics and practical training sessions.  It was a pleasure to be present during lectures from Andy, Bob, Edward, Rupert and Willie.  The lecturers also shared some of their ministry experiences and systematic theology frameworks.  While I had covered some of the material before, other areas were more focussed than my previous studies had been.  In general, the course material was very encouraging and reassuring.  The practical sessions included helpful feedback from the lecturers involved in leading the course.

Beyond the teaching material, it was great to be with other students who were clearly focused on God's word.  The students present were from a wide range of different denominations, academic backgrounds, ages and personal life experiences.  As the year went by, the students became more relaxed with each other and the general camaraderie increased.  At the end of the course, we agreed to stay in touch with each other and meet up again soon.

The Cornhill Scotland course goes beyond four or two days in the classroom and includes a church placement.  Some of the students had arranged their church placements before the course started.  Since I was returning from France, the course director Edward asked me to join Harper.  The preaching team at Harper are focussed on efficient proclamation of the scriptures.  It has been good to work with Alan, Craig and latterly Carl.  As part of the placement, I was given a range of different preaching subjects in the morning, evening and during the week.  I was also asked to lead services, lead communion and give children's talks.  Alan also set aside time on Fridays to discuss theological and ministry related subjects, together with feedback on sermons.  I have been included in the ministry team, for the early morning prayer and Bible study meetings, together with the Elders and Deacons meetings on Wednesday nights.  The placement at Harper provided a good general overview of many of the activities and interpersonal relationships within the church.  The experience was very helpful in clarifying some of the realities of working as a pastor within a church.

Getting involved in a church goes beyond routine preaching duties and meetings.  It has been a pleasure to serve on the doors, at the table, breakfast pancakes, leading a men's retreat and latterly starting to get more involved in children's ministry.  For anyone interested in bringing up children, evangelism, missionary activities, leading Bible studies or working as a pastor, I would thoroughly recommend the Cornhill Scotland training course.
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