2017-18 will be the seventh year of the scheme. It is a ministry training scheme intended to prepare young men and women for a life of faithful and effective gospel ministry in whatever context they find themselves.
It aims to provide training and nurture in three key areas.
Each associate has a directed reading and study programme for the year, as well as the opportunity to undertake a study project addressing an issue of their choice under supervision. The weekly training day at the South Central Ministry Training Scheme (www.southcentralmtc.org) seeks to sharpen exegetical skills and grasp of biblical doctrine; also to discuss issues connected with ministry and work together on expository talk preparation. In addition to the training day, we have an Associates workshop once a week in which we look at areas of doctrine or ministry not covered by the South Central Training Scheme. Some preparation for the training day and the weekly workshop will be required during the week. There is also an expectation of attending at least one conference during the year.
Each associate meets weekly with a mentor to read the Bible, pray and discuss different aspects of the Christian life. Feedback and help will be given in areas of godliness which need addressing. In addition, a servant approach to ministry is fostered through various practical areas of service (anything from helping with chairs or the crèche rota to photocopying and washing up) – Sundays in particular are busy days! Associates have good access to the Senior Pastor (Orlando) and Associate Pastor (Jonny), as well as their households, to see a ministry lifestyle close-up.
3. Ministry skills
The church’s student work provides many opportunities for associates to experience and grow in ministry. Each associate will be expected to meet 1:1 with 3-4 students during the course of each week in term-time. Associates also generally co-lead one of the Student Connect Bible Study groups. They may be involved to a degree in international students work and / or children’s work. There are also likely to be opportunities for preaching, leading seminars and other activities like door-to-door evangelism. Each associate will also be encouraged to pioneer or initiate one new ministry area or event during the course of the year.
First of all, please note that the nature of Christ Church as a young, energetic church will make the experience of a Christ Church Associate slightly different from a typical apprentice in a large and established church. It may therefore appeal to a different kind of person and require certain qualities that may be less crucial in another context.
In particular, you are likely to be
• Very flexible. Your time at Christ Church may well be a roller-coaster ride! You will be presented with opportunities and challenges which neither you nor – to some extent – anybody else could have predicted. The only reasonably sure thing is that your expectations will be confounded.
• A self-starter. You will get plenty of opportunity to talk and pray with others, and a lot of access to Orlando/Jonny during the week, but you will be thrown into the deep end in terms of initiating friendships and ministry opportunities. It won’t be handed to you on a plate.
• Disciplined. You will be treated as an adult and left to get on with things. You won’t have every minute of the day planned out for you. So you need to be able to organise your time well so as to get everything done.
On the other hand, there are qualities we are looking for which are common to most similar apprenticeship schemes. For example, you need to be
• Bible-oriented – committed to being shaped by God’s word and keen to share it with others
• Humble – willing to learn new things and to roll up your sleeves and stuck in wherever you’re needed
• Competent – able to handle the Bible and to communicate it to others reasonably proficiently
• A team player - secure enough to ask for help, caring enough to offer it, able to take direction and correction, more interested in the outcome than personal recognition
You may have a particular interest in ministry in the context of a recent church plant, or a desire to minister among a large student population (around 100 students attend our weekly services or Bible-study groups). You will certainly be excited about being involved in at least one of the church’s key ministry areas and a heart for seeing the gospel go forward and people coming to faith. And you will be keen to ‘test the waters’ of gospel work to see how you can be most useful to the Kingdom in years to come.
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