Rickey served as a trainee in a suburban church with over 500 members.
What part of your traineeship most encouraged you in your faith, and why?
The time spent one-2-one with my mentor reading the Bible, sharing life, doing ministry together, sharing hopes and dreams for the future.
Time in God's word in these one-2-one's helped shape my character and encouraged me in my personal relationship with God, not only an essential prerequisite to being a full-time gospel worker but also essential in persevering in ministry when the going gets tough.
What particularly challenged you as a ministry trainee?
The feedback from staff and my fellow peers: This ranged from small group preaching classes through to being observed doing a range of ministry tasks.
Feedback was honest and critical – which was painful and hard to hear but at the same time exactly what I needed to hear. It humbled me and enabled me to work at my weaknesses and shape my ministry skills so that I was a more rounded gospel worker.
Would you recommend becoming a ministry trainee? If so, why?
Yes, absolutely! For the simple reason that it gives you 1-2 years to really test whether full time paid gospel work is for you. It will help you to see whether you have the necessary character and gifting to do the job. In short it helps you to assess your calling with your church leaders before investing large amounts of time, money and resources training full time at theological college. And remember, going back to secular work does not mean failure at all: because you'll be a better servant of God in your workplace and your congregation.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out as an ministry trainee?
Have a really clear idea from the start of what your goal is by the end of the two years. It could be as simple as discovering whether you enjoy it and you've got it in you. Make sure your expectations of what you hope to do and hope to get out of it is clear with your mentor and your church leadership. There is nothing worse than discovering different agendas 6 months down the line when a 2 year contract has been signed!
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