In 2008, a leader from within the international Salt & Light family had a prophetic word for Oxford Community Church, in which he talked of a team of leaders teaching on the supernatural. It was 10 years later that the structure of the leadership at Oxford Community Church changed to several focus teams, one of which was dedicated to developing the prayer and supernatural life of the church, with the idea of a ‘school of the supernatural’ in mind. Over the next two years, this team met, prayed, worshipped and sought God together. Some team members attended an existing school of supernatural ministry, conferences linked to the supernatural and connected with leaders of similar schools around the world. In 2020, we felt ready to launch our first pilot school! This was a small group of under 25 people, including the members of the Prayer & Supernatural focus team. We were thrilled to see God move in power and transform people’s lives and understanding over this first year.
We want everything we do to be bathed in prayer and worship and flow out from our relationship with Jesus, and so we give these things priority in our times together. We come together weekly for a time of worship and teaching, and we will then usually split into small, same-gender groups. These groups are set at the start of the year and remain the same throughout, in order to develop relationship and a feeling of safety to help us be honest and vulnerable. We use these times together to help us process the teaching we have received, what we feel God is saying, support each other through the hard times and celebrate each other’s victories together. We will also often do ‘activations’ together, which are activities to help us to step out in courage and see what the Holy Spirit will do! These usually happen in small groups, but it varies according to the nature of the activation.
Whilst much of the input is provided by the School of the Spirit team, we are also privileged to receive speakers and prophetic gifts from outside our church, our sphere and even outside Salt & Light. We have found it very enriching to hear and see how other schools and movements live out a supernatural lifestyle and we look forward to welcoming external speakers again this year.
We don’t give ‘homework’ in a traditional sense, but there will often be an action for students to take in obedience to what they have heard God say to them.
Whilst we cover many different topics over the year, such as healing, outreach and prophecy, there are three overarching themes that provide a framework: the Father and identity, Jesus and intimacy, the Holy Spirit and power. We believe that living out the fulness of life that God has for us requires us to know who we are in Him, to have a close relationship with Him and to realise the authority He has given us.
Pastoral care and discipleship
We trust that God will be moving over the course of the year and that He will be bringing freedom, empowerment and transformation. The small groups are a great place to start processing this, and the support and challenge these provide are an integral part of SotS, and, as such, are definitely a place of discipleship. However, we also acknowledge that we cannot provide individual pastoral support for every student! So, whilst we will do all we can to pray with students and listen to God with them, we strongly recommend ensuring that students are in regular contact with their own personal pastor. We will try to keep pastors updated on what we are looking at, but it is each student's responsibility to ensure that they are communicating with their pastors about what God is doing, including both the blessings and the challenges that the student is facing.