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Explaining the Crucible Course

Christians across western culture are facing profound challenges and fresh opportunities. The Crucible Course helps them understand the many new possibilities, equipping them to follow Jesus on the margins 

Crucible CourseChristians 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:
o On the margins of society among the poor and disenfranchised.
o At the margins of culture, where creative thinking explores new possibilities.
o On the margins of the familiar, the spaces all around us, neglected or ignored, but full of potential.

The course is now in its ninth year and has trained over 400 people it is hosted by Urban Expression (www.urbanexpression.org.uk) in partnership with BMS World Mission, Incarnate Network, Northumbria Community and Workshop.

Three weekends

Crucible runs three intensive training weekends each year at BMS World Mission’s training facility in Birmingham. The weekends 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 £65 per weekend or £170 for three weekends. Accommodation and meals are not included in the cost. You can request these or make your own arrangements.

Stream 1

Urban Challenge (1-2 February 2014) examines the dynamics of mission and ministry in our multicultural urban communities, where Christendom has faded first.

Creating New Churches (17-18 May 2014) offers resources for pioneering new churches – and new kinds of churches – in emerging cultures, and renewing existing churches.

After Christendom (8-9 November 2014) investigates the many opportunities, as well as the challenges, that the end of imperial Christianity presents.

Stream 2 

Becoming Human (1-2 February 2014) probes the dynamics of discipleship and asks how we can become more fully human as followers of the Son of Man.

Jesus Unplugged (17-18 May 2014) imagines how we might re-tell the story of Jesus today in ways that connect with contemporary cultures.

Restoring Hope (8-9 November 2014) 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.

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.’

How does Crucible relate to Equipped to Pioneer?

Equipped to Pioneer is a part time training course for those involved in pioneering or church planting in Baptist churches. It is intended to enable people to be recognised by the churches of our Baptist Union as trained pioneers. The course consists of a range of modules designed to provide a biblical and theological understanding of mission in today’s context, along with personal development.

The six Crucible weekends make up half of the core modules of Equipped to Pioneer.


The Crucible steering group consists of Alex Alexander, Juliet Kilpin, Stuart Murray Williams and Peter Dominey. Stuart comments, 'One of the most significant aspects of the course is the opportunity for pioneers to meet other pioneers and learn from each other.'

For further information, or to book a place on Crucible, see the Crucible course website or contact info@cruciblecourse.org.uk.                     

Baptist Times, 28/01/2014
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