Laura served as a trainee in a city-centre church with between 250 and 499 members.
What part of your traineeship most encouraged you in your faith, and why?
I was most encouraged by the training I got in reading the Bible with the other trainees and with my mentors who really supported and helped me to figure out my priorities for the year. It helped me to reflect more personally on what it means to be a daughter of God. Through studying Scripture and learning how to teach it to others, I grew in confidence as a person and in my faith as well as in awareness of God’s sovereignty and His provision.
What particularly challenged you as a ministry trainee?
I was challenged by worshiping at the same place where I was working. There were many times where I was in church on Sunday and felt like I was working rather than worshiping. It was very tempting to mix up my work with my faith and, as a result, to mix up my value as God’s child with my own ‘failures’ and ‘successes’. Prayer and being reminded of the gospel helped to counter this!
Would you recommend becoming a ministry trainee? If so, why?
I would absolutely recommend becoming a ministry trainee! It is a wonderful opportunity to spend a year or two learning about public ministry, regardless of whether you are thinking of entering into full time church ministry in the future. If you are thinking about that, it gives you practical experience and informs you about what full time Christian ministry is really like. If you are not looking at full time church ministry, being a ministry trainee nonetheless gives you the space and time to develop your gifts and serve God. It’s really valuable having trainees who are growing in disciples but are not necessarily thinking of full time church ministry; we need young men and women who understand the importance of lifelong discipleship.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out as an ministry trainee?
My main piece of advice is to make sure you value rest and the Sabbath. Where the traditional 9 to 5 structure doesn’t necessarily apply (and where there are so many different projects and priorities vying for your attention), it is easy to fall into thinking that you can’t or shouldn’t take time off. You will serve God and the church community better if you value rest and enjoy God’s good creation. God is working through you and your ministry whether you are working or resting, so it’s not all about what you do!
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