Hanging out with the ‘Head Chef’
Karen is a mother of three, who is on an adventure with Jesus. She has lived in Rugby for 13 years and is a natural evangelist, who loves people and loves communicating truth in a way which brings release and healing to people. She completed KST in 2020.
Tell us about how you signed up for KST…
“When I first considered KST it was a massive step of faith. It felt like a God-opportunity, but I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I was a stay-at-home mum. My kids were 3, 5 and 7.
Reading had also never been my strong point, let alone studying theological books; but with my youngest starting 12 hours of nursery I wanted to use my time for something that would bring me growth. So, I stepped out, and I am all the better for it!
It was tough going to start with. I was so tired during the first full day of teaching that I fell asleep in the lecture (…only briefly!). I remember trying to read the first assignment book, but again was held back by how drowsy the reading made me feel. My tiredness felt disabling and it made me cry. I thought that if I couldn’t finish the reading, I wouldn’t manage to complete the first assignment. However, the support within the KST community was wonderful and whatever capacity I had, I was welcomed. I even received the advice to sit on a hard chair to conduct my reading, which was a total breakthrough!! #
I squeezed in study times when my youngest was at nursery, and my husband was a huge help – when the deadlines came, he would take the kids out for the day”.
What do you think studying theology gave you?
“Studying theology at KST has grown such a love of the word in my heart and has taken away the fear of being under-qualified. The exegetical tools I gained have enabled deeper digging (and discipline) into bible study, and I have since had the opportunity to preach at my church.
The tools give me confidence that Father will bring his ‘words of life’ to my sermon prep, as I seek the Holy Spirit. God gave me a picture that I’m like a waitress with an empty tray, patiently waiting for Head Chef (God) to prepare his feast for the guests.
Preparing a preach is like waiting for Head Chef to deliver the next course – I have to trust him and wait with expectancy. The empty tray no longer worries me because God always delivers!
Becoming familiar with the bible has been so good for me. My previous understanding of the bible was like eating something from the starter menu (another food analogy!), but studying theology has been like embarking on a full five-course meal – there’s so much more to marvel at and delight in, particularly as you give it the time”.
Tell us about some other ways in which you’re using your learning
“Following KST, I went straight into training as a CAP Debt Coach. It was amazing to have the opportunity to combine Debt Help with the theology of God’s love & mercy, and the Spirit’s mission to bring kingdom life to the world through the church. KST developed a GOD confidence in me (an upgrade from SELF confidence!) which fuels my prayer with clients and faith conversations with anyone who’ll listen.
I also lead various Bible studies and the women’s ministry at church. One of the mums I met at the school gate has come to faith and is on a beautiful discipleship journey. Another is on a gentle conversion journey that I’ve trusted into God’s hands (I’m so thankful for the Transforming Disciples module on the missions Track).
Also, I cannot describe how much KST has impacted the discipleship of my three kids. They are now 10, 11 and 13, and I love talking through the questions and topics that get asked without feeling inadequate or baffled. The growth of God-confidence has brought with it a clarity about life with Jesus, which means I don’t have to tip toe around uncomfortable subjects, but can delight in God’s truth and the wisdom-life that he has extended to us. These conversations are a lot of fun and are tooling the kids up to recognise the differences between the biblical world view and the culture around us, and where fullness of life is really found.
[And an added bonus to all of this is that I now love to read, and continue my own theological study without falling asleep!]
Thank you KST!”