“You’ll need to pick a service team.”
It was 2019, and my trainer and I were sitting down for one of our sessions, a sheet of paper with scribbled notes between us. We were discussing expectations, plans, hopes, and useful contacts for the following year when I’d be heading to college.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“The service teams are an auxiliary ministry that’s part of the standard college study load. They do various things – like teaching Scripture in schools, running First Year Orientation and looking after college chapel. One of them works with CCL, the Centre for Christian Living. Tony Payne used to run it. I’m not sure if he still does, but it would be a good place for you to start.”
Fuel your faith every Friday with our weekly newsletter
“It’s a centre of Moore College concerned with how Christians navigate decision-making. In their own words, they aim to ‘help Christians bring biblical ethics to everyday issues.’”
“Sounds good.” I was heading to college to be trained and equipped for resourcing others. I could write, I could distil ideas, and I could see opportunities to help build up the body of Christ. So joining CCL was part of the big picture even before I moved cities.
So what has it been like?
The Centre for Christian Living produces material in three different forms: events, a podcast and articles. The events are a once-a-term evening on a current issue topic. We’ve shifted to in-person and live-streamed hybrid events since 2020, which has resulted in people who live too far away for attendance to be practical tuning in. Topics have ranged from singleness and sex, to forgiveness, to IVF – big issues with immediate implications for the attendee. Events tend to consist of a key address from a guest speaker, time for reflection on the ideas, and an interactive Q&A.
The podcast is subject to more seasonal variation, with guests joining host Chase Kuhn to cover a variety of issues present and relevant to the Christian life. Occasionally CCL Executive Assistant Karen Beilharz interviews one of us students about how we’ve come to College and where we’re hoping to go afterwards. She does an amazing job, unpacking the small details that make up the big picture.
One of the key ideas that I’ve been pushed on is the importance of refining your idea before you release it into the wild.
The students involved with the Centre’s service team write articles that the Centre publishes. But more than that, we’re being trained in how to write and convey our ideas better, and as a team, we work together to sharpen our writing during article workshopping. I’ve been working on something a little unusual on and off this year – allegorical fiction about forgiveness. But with so many irons in the fire, it’s anybody’s guess what it might become by the end of the year.
One of the key ideas that I’ve been pushed on is the importance of refining your idea before you release it into the wild. In a self-published world, it’s easy to throw out ungrounded opinions. In contrast, the editing process we go through together during the year is helpful for solidifying concepts into articles where the arguments are watertight, the approach is empathetic, and the words are earned. It’s hard work, but it will pay dividends in future. In an age of information abundance, these are invaluable skills.
Being part of the Centre has been a stimulating experience. I have grown in appreciation for how the Centre, along with what I’ve been learning at college, has pushed me to develop nuance in my arguments, to notice details that really do matter, and to figure out how to interact with ideas that might otherwise be too “hard” to think through. It’s been a humbling experience, but that only cements it as one of the formative parts of being at Moore College.
Resourcing Christians is still my post-college plan. I care especially about making theology accessible to a wider audience, and the Centre has played a big part in teaching me how to teach application and implication clearly. We’re here to help Jesus’ church love him most, and I love that.
To learn more about the Centre for Christian Living, its resources and its activities, visit ccl.moore.edu.au.