Where Bible based training meets bungee jumping, caving, producing professional fashion shows or refurbishing old landrovers!

Continued from page 2

A Year Out With A Difference

I do not say this to put the church down, as I believe the church is the organism chosen to reflect Christ's character, represent His heart and reproduce His children on the earth.

We (the UK church) are in danger of putting structure in front of relationship, resulting in an institutional organisation that is not appealing to Christians or to those outside the church. Everybody needs a support structure (e.g. our skeleton), but if you can see the bones, the body is sick! We, in Church of the Nations, adhere to the motto, 'do not love something that can't love you back'; the heartbeat of church life has got to be 'people, people' and not 'numbers, numbers'. Our obsession with large churches and quick-growth programs has led to poor quality leadership, shallow depth of relationships, poor quality small groups, poor quality training and equipping, and lack of basic discipleship.

Looking across the physical landscape and history pages of Great Britain, our Christian heritage is plain for all to see. As a direct result of God's activity in this nation, we currently have thousands of churches attended by many British and international Christians who love Jesus and are desperate to see a vibrant, united church.

The numerous TV programs covering such diverse spiritual topics as angels, ghosts, demons and psychic activity, is evidence of a population aware of something that exists beyond the physical. Couple this spiritual awareness with the desire of millions of Brits to connect with one another on the Net, and you have a platform and stage set for a church to demonstrate true community within a framework of intimacy with the Father in heaven.

I believe this is possible only if we accept that the gap from where we are now, to where we need to be, means CHANGE for the church. A rediscovering of the fundamental principles of Christian community will produce a depth of spirituality attractive to Christians and to those outside the church.

Heather: Have you been through the Training Centre yourself? What's your personal perspective on JTC?

Blair: Oh yeah! It was the year that I realised that Jesus is not just Saviour, He is Lord as well. I have seen two of my cousins, my brother, and now one of my best friends go through the JTC. If I trust the process with my family, then I can give it a "thumbs up" to anyone thinking of doing it!

Heather: What would your top five reasons be for why someone should consider joining JTC?

Blair: 1) Character vs. gifting
2) Understanding the Gospel of the Kingdom
3) Learning to walk as a son and daughter of the King
4) Relationship - you will build friendships to last a lifetime
5) It is a year that potentially will change the rest of your life.


Ralf Helfrichs story
39 years
Nationality: German
Did Year of Training in 2004/05
Currently a musician and music teacher

Year of Training was a catalyst that made the way free for God to move me into the right direction. God does not let you down after YOT as well, He keeps on teaching you new things. But most of all He deepens everything He started during YOT in and with you. The main issue is to implement the things He has taught you. You learn and know the theory at YOT, but after the year, He allows you to practically walk through things to see whether you really understand them. He calls you out of the boat and onto the water to walk in your calling. It is awesome to see how He calls forth the talents and knowledge He has placed in me through walking in His calling.

Before I became a Christian in 2003 and even before YOT, I could try what I wanted with my musical gifting on guitar and keyboard. But never did something concrete or meaningful happen. I always stumbled over my own character issues, and all the projects I put my hand to just broke down. I needed music to confirm who I was and found much of my identity in it and in my performance thereof. Jesus helped me to see Him as my identity so that now I can play music without the all consuming need for recognition, but just for His glory. After YOT I became involved in various activities that are using my musical gifting and my teaching gifting in a way that I, Ralf, would not be able to.

God opened a door for me to teach in schools as a Guitar tutor and also as a Music teacher in a Primary School. Furthermore, I also have private students that I teach. The key is that He wants me to impart so much more than just the music, in the form of His heart and putting confidence into the kids and being a light in the schools. It is an absolute miracle that this happened, because I do not have a proper qualification as a teacher, but Jesus made it possible!

It was always a dream of mine to make a living from my music. But it is only a by product of my walk with Jesus. That is the main thing. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness ... like it says in Matthew 6:33.

Even more exiting is the fact that, thanks to Jesus, I married my wonderful wife, Daniela, last year. I am committed to her and see our marriage as a covenant for life, something that I would never have thought possible to do before. But, with God's help we can. In Jubilee (Church) and YOT, I learnt a lot about how to walk relationships in a Godly way.

My whole life has changed and turned around in a way that I always dreamt of. Only my intimate relationship with Christ made it possible, because now He orchestrates everything for me. He literally gives me the desires of my heart. My part is to stick with Him and walk the walk. He will take care of it. Then my life will bear the fruit of the seed He has put into me.

For more info and to apply for YOT go to www.jubileetc.org.uk or call 01622 730000 for a full pack of brochures that can be sent to you free of charge. 2008 is almost full, but if you're interested, visit the website to download the application form and send it to them straight away. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.