School of Theology 2022

School of Theology 2022

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£35 – £40


Oak Hill College

Chase Side


N14 4PS

United Kingdom

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“Like the brightness after rain”: the godly exercise of pastoral authority.

About this event

Date: Tuesday 12 July 2022

Location: Online, live via Zoom & in person at Oak Hill College

Price: £35-£40

“Like the brightness after rain”: the godly exercise of pastoral authority

A godly leader is a beautiful thing. That’s what the title of this year’s Oak Hill School of Theology is all about. It draws on the last words of king David, who says in 2 Samuel ch.23 that someone who rules in righteousness and in the fear of God is “like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain”. We delight in such beautiful leadership when we find it, and we grieve when it goes missing. But then David adds something. He says that a godly leader is “like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.” So a godly leader is not only something beautiful. They also do something… or rather, God does something through them. He brings growth and fruitfulness.

In this School of Theology we will explore this beauty and fruitfulness as it should characterise the godly exercise of pastoral authority in churches. Churches need leaders. Jesus the Chief Shepherd appoints under- shepherds for the good of his church. So how are they to exercise the pastoral authority he gives them in a way that reflects his character? Along the way, as we think through these things, we will inevitably reflect on some underlying reasons why leadership in the church can turn ugly, dispiriting and damaging, rather than beautiful, refreshing and nurturing. And we’ll land by considering how a richly biblical, theological and historically-aware understanding of pastoral authority helps that authority be exercised in Christ-like ways, for the good of God’s people, in the details of church life.

Session 1. Scripture - Graham Beynon

The first lecture will open up some of the most profound portions of Scripture for our topic, tracing how the Lord loves to do his work through people, and what therefore needs to characterise the lives of those to whom he gives the authority to minister for him.

Session 2. History and theology - Matthew Bingham

The Protestant Reformers thought very hard about the foundations of pastoral authority in the church. This second lecture will dig into the heart of their thinking and show how they brought that to bear on the realities of ministry, reflecting on the lessons for us.

Sessions 3 & 4. Seminars

The two lectures, along with and the experiences that each of us bring, will throw up many practical questions. We will explore these together in an afternoon of focused seminars, each led by someone experienced in grappling with these issues in ministry. Seminars will cover topics such as: authority in church leadership; authority in private counsel; authority in preaching; authority in youth ministry; relationships and emotional intelligence. Participants will be able to choose two seminars.

Session 5. Q&A panel

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