YWAM Harpenden will be a hive of activity this summer, starting July 1 with School of the Circuit Riders, a two-week school to equip those who are ready to throw off the ordinary for an extraordinary life in Christ. We recently sat down with Michael Green, one of the school leaders for Circuit Riders in the UK, to hear more about it.
What is Circuit Riders?
We can draw inspiration from things that God has done in the past. The circuit riders who came from the UK and traveled the US sharing the gospel helped lay the moral and financial foundations of both nations. Without those foundations, both nations would look very different.
There’s a growing sense that God is wanting to release a new generation of people who want more of God’s presence in their lives. There are many people who are saying, ‘God, there’s got to be more than this.’ The purpose of Circuit Riders is to give them a foundation to launch them into the mission field, wherever that is for them – their university, their place of work, or the ends of the earth.
The school is not primarily about head knowledge, or learning ten techniques for evangelism. It’s about catching fire, the Holy Spirit getting our attention and impacting us as individuals. When you catch God’s vision for man like that, you can’t help but make an impact on the world around you. As Charles Spurgeon said, “Set a man on fire, and people will come to watch him burn.”[/wpspoiler]
Who can join Circuit Riders?
That’s the beauty of it, that it’s open to everyone, whether you are a student at university, never done DTS or anything with YWAM, or you’re a long-term missionary. We’ve got people who are applying who’ve been in missions for 20 years. It’s not about a single generation; it’s about the body of Christ working together. We all need fresh revelation, fresh power, fresh anointing in our lives.
Generally, the original circuit riders were younger because it was an arduous life. A good number of them died young as a result. I think there is a call to go to the hardest and darkest places, to cast off comfortable Christianity. Jesus talked a lot about the sacrifice of being a disciple, and very little about the comfort. The mission field looks different than it used to. It’s no longer just about going to the farthest places we can think of. We are also called to bring Christ to our work, our institutes of education, to every part of society.
What will the school look like?
The school will be bent toward learning, then applying that knowledge. You won’t just sit in a classroom listening to teaching for two weeks. You’ll learn, then be given opportunities to apply it.
For example, you might take a passage of scripture, and ask the Lord what he was saying to you in that moment, then spend the next two minutes preaching to each other in a small group. It’s meant to shed light on how we communicate the gospel. It’s not about techniques, but about catching the spirit of what is doing at this time, and applying it in our own lives. It’s also about practicing the spiritual disciplines, including deeper understanding of prayer and intercession, and intimate, abandoned worship, which leads to a change in the inner man that in turn impacts the world around us.
What will happen on outreach?
The outreach will be an opportunity to take another step in applying all that you learn during the lectures. We have this extraordinary opportunity this summer. It seems like half the world lives in London anyway, and now the rest of the world we be coming to our doorstep. London will be a focus for the outreach, but we are also looking to send teams to other cities in the UK that are hosting Olympic events. The idea is that this work carries over into your own mission field, wherever you go.
What would you say to those thinking about joining Circuit Riders?
Circuit Riders isn’t “it.” It’s the jolt. We weren’t created for a boring life, to just go through the motions. There’s too much, so much more. We hope that Circuit Riders will be that jolt of power that reinvigorates people to be released into a world in desperate need. None of us were created for an ordinary life, and this is an opportunity, some for the first time, others as a reminder, that we were created for the extraordinary