Lots to learn: MT in lockdown

Sam Lockwood

Lots to learn: MT in lockdown

I’m Sam, a Ministry Trainee at Redeemer Winchester. As a trainee, my normal week consists of coffee shop meet-ups, student Bible study groups, attending training in two different cities and helping run Sunday gatherings as a whole church family: all of which are now banned! When the vast majority of your work has to stop, how do you carry on working? 

That’s the question that I’ve had to work with over the past few days. Since the lockdown was announced just over a week ago, I’ve been doing all my work sitting at my desk some 200 miles away from my church. I’ve had to adjust and change the way things are done but regardless, work carries on due to the power of technology. Instead of meeting people in coffee shops and homes, we’re meeting over video calls. Instead of attending training in person, I attend training through Zoom. Instead of meeting together as a whole church family, we stream the service into everyone’s homes. I’m working out how to do the same jobs in a different way. 

We are only a couple of weeks into lockdown so there’s still lots of uncertainty, and lots to learn and adjust in terms of how we do church remotely. Yet these changes have forced me to learn skills I never thought I would need at the start of this year. For example, I now have to pre-record most of the service for Sunday and use video-editing software to prepare it and upload it – skills I definitely didn’t have prior to the lockdown!

I do certainly miss being able to meet up with people face to face to share a coffee, a meal, or to look at God’s Word together. It’s wonderful that these things can still take place over video calls but there’s something very precious about actually being with people to do these things. I think the Lord is teaching me, as I’m sure he’s teaching many others, that we are human beings made to be in community with others. I’m confident that when this comes to an end, I will value time with others far more than I ever did before. 

I’ve been massively encouraged to see the lengths that people in various churches, including Redeemer, have gone to in order to love and care and serve others; the Church showing itself to be a brilliant light.

This is a strange time for me as a Ministry Trainee but I’m incredibly grateful that I’m still able to serve in my role and that God is using this time to help grow me, shape me and teach me even more than usual. In uncertain and testing times, relying upon the unchanging Lord is more of a comfort than ever before.