The Crucible Course
On the margins?
Christians across western culture are facing profound challenges and fresh opportunities. The long era of ‘Christendom’ is coming to an end. We now live in a plural society, with multiple religious options alongside the prevailing secular assumptions, in which Christianity has lost its position of dominance and privilege and churches are on the margins of society.
Although we seem to be declining in numbers and influence, this context offers many new possibilities – if we have the courage and imagination to grasp them.
Crucible is for Christians with courage and imagination, who suspect that:
We need to operate as cross-cultural missionaries because we live in a cross-cultural mission context.
We need to think creatively about incarnating the gospel and planting new kinds of churches in emerging and diverse cultures.
We need to recover the biblical vision of shalom and reflect on how we live as followers of Jesus in light of this all-embracing vision.
We need to pay particular attention to the margins, because we serve the God who frequently does new things there:
On the margins of society among the poor and disenfranchised.
At the margins of culture, where creative thinking explores new possibilities.
On the margins of the familiar, the spaces all around us, neglected or ignored, but full of potential.
The course is now in its twelfth year and has trained over 600 people. It is hosted by Urban Expression (www.urbanexpression.org.uk) in partnership with the Incarnate Network, the Northumbria Community, Workshop and BMS World Mission.
Crucible runs three intensive training weekends each year to equip Christians to follow Jesus on the margins. Two streams are available on each weekend. Each stream flows separately, but the subjects can be done in any combination.
The venue is the International Mission Centre, 24 Weoley Park Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6QX. The cost is £95 per weekend or £260 for three weekends. Accommodation and meals are not included in the cost. You can request these or make your own arrangements.
After Christendom (18th – 19th November) investigates the many opportunities, as well as the challenges, that the end of imperial Christianity presents.
Urban Challenge (3rd – 4th February) examines the dynamics of mission and ministry in our multicultural urban communities, where Christendom has faded first.
Creating New Churches (19th – 20th May) offers resources for pioneering new churches – and new kinds of churches – in emerging cultures, and renewing existing churches.
Restoring Hope (18th – 19th November) explores how, in light of God’s mission to bring shalom to all creation, we can live towards that hope and create communities of peace.
Becoming Human (3rd – 4th February) probes the dynamics of discipleship and asks how we can become more fully human as followers of the Son of Man.
Jesus Unplugged (19th – 20th May) imagines how we might re-tell the story of Jesus today in ways that connect with contemporary cultures.
What participants are saying
Emily: ‘Crucible has taught me that no matter how young I am in my faith, everyone is battling with the same questions.’
Ali: ‘Crucible has been a great place to connect with others and to have the space to reflect theologically with the small group I came with.’
Gary: ‘At two-thirds of my way through the course I'd already found it invaluable in preparing me for 21st Century church planting.’
David: ‘Crucible's ministry is much appreciated and having a significant impact. If you want to be taken to the edge of mission and mission thinking, consider attending the Crucible Course.’