Elim Bible College made a significant impact on my life.
More importantly, although it was a hosted in a superb building in the leafy suburbs of Capel in Surrey it was not just the studies that helped lay a foundation of understanding about everything that is precious about my Christian faith – it was being in a sense of community with godly men and women. Many of them were there not just to complete a degree in theology, but to pursue their calling to serve Christ in the nations of the world – they were ambitious for God and for the Church.
This was reflected in the constant initiatives in evangelism and pastoral care and support of Churches in the region and across the nation. It was a place where I met people who knew the Lord far better than me, they fasted, prayed, walked in fields full of cows whilst singing and shouting praises to God, unheard by everyone except God.
Into that mix I encountered visiting ministries that inspired trust, holiness, obedience and faith in Christ. The building was heaving with the voices of countless memories of the past. Many of the people involved with the Pentecostal revival under George and Stephen Jeffries had walked the corridors, touched the books, laughed, prayed and reached out for God there – all of them dedicated to seeing not just a revival that would sweep the nations, but also a scripture-honouring, Christ-exalting and God-glorifying approach to theology and the knowledge of God that would represent Him faithfully in a fallen, sin-crushed world.
One of the people who inspired me most was Percy Brewster. I didn’t meet him because he had died some while before. Although his name may make you smile, he knew what it was to see the glory of God come down in the midst of God’s people, and was no stranger to signs and wonders, miracles and healings – in abundance! He knew God!
The overwhelming thing for me about Bible College is evident here. Our discipleship is based on relationship, and outside of that nothing of true value happens. Paul the apostle was insistent, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15) Like all things with Paul and so different our Western self-absorbed approach, this would have been a call to all, not just an isolated individual.
We work best not as a team (which isn’t a biblical concept), but as we really are, family. Bible College is not about raising up great leaders, but about giving tools, support and encouragement to those who God has already called and who the Church has already recognised as having the hand of God on their lives.
If that is you – I whole heartedly recommend Elim Bible College or New Frontier’s Future Leadership.