David served as a trainee as a city-centre church with over 500 members.
What part of your traineeship most encouraged you in your faith, and why?
Meeting every week with my mentor to chat about life, read Philippians, and pray for each other and our student group. It's been such an encouragement to spend time close with an older, wiser Christian, learning about all sorts of things, but primarily being personally encouraged and taught through reading the bible together.
What particularly challenged you as a ministry trainee?
Managing time and energy well have been a real challenge. There have been a few weeks with 4-5 evenings at work, and lots more with 3, and doing a lot of practical and energy-sapping jobs really takes it out of you. I recommend having a good routine for rest – use your days off well, just focus on recharging in whatever way you find best, find some activity or sport to do then, and refocus on God as your source of strength.
Keeping up friendships is also a real challenge – be prepared to make an effort, especially if you've just left the concentrated atmosphere of university.
Would you recommend becoming a ministry trainee? If so, why?
Absolutely! There are so many reasons to take the opportunity – one being that it's not one you're likely to consider later on. I've grown so much in so many ways: knowledge of God, understanding of the Bible, character, love for the church, prayerfulness, to name just a few. And though the spiritual growth is far more important, and significant, I can't help but feel more ready for life for it. Whether continuing in ministry or finding a job elsewhere, I feel so much more ready to live for Christ in that situation – both spiritually and physically.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out as an ministry trainee?
As I've already mentioned – rest well and work hard to keep up friendships.
My biggest piece of advice though is just to keep going with the strength that God gives you. There's a reason it's a 1 or 2 year scheme – it's hard work, and it's a constant battle in so many ways; so depend on Him daily for strength and energy and willingness to do the good work he has prepared for you.
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