Tom Beaumont was a Ministry Trainee for two years at St John’s Church, Lindow, which is in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Since then he’s been a maths teacher, and currently lives in Portsmouth with his wife Sarah.
When I left university, I was considering whether or not full-time, paid gospel ministry was for me. So, partly in order to answer that question, I spent two years as a Ministry Trainee at St John’s, Lindow, in Wilmslow, Cheshire. My role mostly involved Bible teaching (sermons, Bible studies, youth groups and one-to-ones etc.), which was a real highlight, and an area in which I wanted to gain experience.
It was a real privilege to spend my working hours serving Jesus in a “direct” way, learning from him and teaching his word to others.
Overall, I loved my time at St John’s! It was a real privilege to spend my working hours serving Jesus in a “direct” way, learning from him and teaching his word to others. I was able to have a go at lots of different types of ministry, receiving really helpful feedback along the way. Regular practice, along with the opportunity to spend loads of time watching and talking to the staff-team at St John’s, really helped me to develop my ministry skills.
A particularly pleasing part of the job was getting to know people in small groups and see them grow in their faith! One lady whose faithfulness repeatedly surprised me hadn’t been a Christian for that long and had been through some pretty tough times. It was thrilling to see her love for Jesus, her desire to serve him and how much she valued our small group.
Whilst it was an excellent experience overall, there were some challenging aspects. I found it to be quite a lonely job at times. This was particularly true over the summer months, when home-groups and youth groups paused for the holidays. It also sometimes felt like studying the Bible for small group, sermons etc. became a job to tick off the list, rather than a time to enjoy getting to know God (which is how it normally felt at university). I had to be really careful to keep reminding myself to learn from the passage personally, before teaching others!
Part of my time as a Ministry Trainee was spent in training. I was fortunate to be able to attend the excellent weekly training course run by the North West Partnership. My church also encouraged me to go to the annual 9:38 Ministry Trainee Conference. Both of these were fantastic opportunities to pick the brains of older and more experienced ministers and to meet up with other people doing similar jobs to me. I think I particularly benefitted from quizzing people about how to apply Bible passages faithfully and relevantly.
I think it was a great way to spend two years, which I haven’t regretted for a second!
I went into the role at St John’s with the hope of clarifying whether or not full-time paid church work was for me. I’ve since started a job teaching maths in a school, so I suppose the answer is ‘not yet’! However, I hope and suspect that in a few years I will apply to Bible College and continue from there into church leadership. I also intend to put the skills I learned at St John’s to use as I serve Jesus in the meantime. All in all, I think it was a great way to spend two years, which I haven’t regretted for a second!