Interview with Neil Forsythe
Crosslands seminary student
Neil Forsythe is a Crosslands Seminary student. We interviewed him recently to hear his experience of studying with Crosslands and how it’s equipped and encouraged him as he leads a church plant in Liverpool.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Neil. I’m married to Elisabeth who’s an incredible social worker and even more incredible baker. I have two children, Ruthie who’s 7 and Micah who’s 5. I’ve worked as a Civil Engineer for the last 10 years but recently, after two years of working bi-vocationally, I stepped away to serve as Pastor of Liberti Church Lark Lane, a relatively new Acts 29 church plant in the south of Liverpool, UK.
Why did you choose to study with Crosslands?
I had a good grasp of theology before starting Crosslands, but in preparation for planting Liberti Church my desire to grow in my knowledge and theological practice deepened. I was determined to be able to serve our church plant as effectively as possible and Crosslands provided the ideal opportunity for me to engage in theological training that was both flexible and robust whilst remaining in my planting context.
What is it like to study with Crosslands?
Studying with Crosslands is everything that I expected when starting formal theological training. It’s had me stretch my knowledge of theology, grow in my practical experience as a pastor, it required a fair level of discipline to stay on top of assignments and, perhaps most enjoyably, it’s deepened my love for God, his church and his mission. My studies so far have covered areas of biblical theology, Bible exposition, church history and doctrine with assignments submitted each term. The time demands are real, with 1-2 days a week set aside for study, reading and assignments in addition to termly study residentials, but the flexibility and community learning environment make Crosslands an attractive option for those already in a ministry context.
How has studying with Crosslands helped you both personally and as a church planter?
Studying with Crosslands has given me the flexibility to focus on growing in my theological education at the same time as leading and caring for our church plant with sufficient time and care given to both.
The content of the course is robust, relevant and practically focussed. This has better equipped me to lead our church and engage in the realities of church ministry.
The course content is written by leading academics with the aim of sharpening theological understanding and practice, however a concurrent area of growth has been my love for God, his church and his mission. The more I learn about him, the more my affections are stirred to worship him.
What would you say to someone considering studying with Crosslands?
The church needs more men and women who are trained and ready to teach, train and equip others for ministry, to plant churches where there aren’t any, to teach our children the truths of God and to lead and serve in our churches, homes and workplaces. None of these need us to have a formal theological education but with something so accessible, flexible and affordable, Crosslands is a great option for you to increase in your ability and effectiveness. If you have a desire to deepen your knowledge of God, to grow in your area of ministry and have the flexibility to dedicate 1-2 days a week and the termly residential then you’d do well to consider Crosslands.
You can find out more about Crosslands Seminary course and apply for September 2020 here.