The Lord’s words that “the workers are few” (Matt. 9:37) are as true today as ever. Many thousands more godly, passionate, trained and proven men and women are desperately needed not only to serve existing churches but also to plant more gospel works and advance the gospel into areas of the country full of harvest but lacking any witness to Jesus Christ.
Our ‘bread and butter' work is running conferences for Christians which give them the opportunity to consider the possibility of full-time gospel ministry. As Vaughan Roberts says,
“The aim is not to persuade everyone that they should give up their present jobs and offer themselves as workers to churches and missionary organisations. We all have different gifts. Some are suited to this kind of work, others are best used in other ways. We must resist the idea that some jobs are better or more ‘spiritual’ than others. But we should all be asking ourselves this question: ‘What is it that I could do, as the person I am and with the gifts that God has given me, that would most bring glory to God through the spread of the gospel?’ For some that will mean staying where they are; for others it will mean a significant change of direction.”
9:38 wants to serve churches by encouraging trainees and encouraging apprenticeship/trainee schemes at the local church level. A ministry apprenticeship is a biblical and effective model which gives the trainee a taste of what full-time gospel ministry is like, a taste of theological education, allows giftedness and character to be tested, and can be a stepping stone into further, long-term ministry. We seek to support such apprenticeships by:
- Offering bespoke advice and guidance to local churches seeking to establish a ministry trainee scheme or hosting an apprentice for the first time.
- Producing and curating resources – books, blog and audio – on gospel ministry, guidance and apprenticeship.
- Supporting church-based events that give people an opportunity to move a step forward in exploring how they might maximise their gospel ministry.
9:38 also works to promote gospel ministry vacancies – particularly ministry trainee positions – through our vacancies search engine and social media, with a view to connecting would-be harvest workers with training and ministry positions in local churches. We promote all positons strongly but are particularly glad to promote and encourage positions (with a strong training component) in smaller churches, rural and small town settings and church plants.