So, you may be thinking about coming and training with us here, completing the Union School of Theology GDip through the Learning Community and gaining experience as an intern with us. Before making the decision to come, you may want to find out a little bit more about what a normal week would look like for you.
So, here’s a little run through of how we see a typical week looking. Note that whilst we can talk about the different things you would do, the exact days when things happen will vary.
1. Be part of one of our weekend congregations
This is probably the most important part of the week. The whole point of training in the local church is that you get fully involved in its life as a member of the body. This will mean joining the congregation for corporate worship each week and using your gifts to serve. This might include helping with music, p/a, children’s work, stewarding, serving tea and coffee etc. You will get to know people here. You will also be expected to join a Home Group.
You will need to set aside the equivalent of 2.5 days each week during term time. This will include one day with the Learning Community. The day will start with prayer and then we will work through the material together. This usually involves watching some recorded lectures. After each recording we will stop to discuss the content. We will also eat together and there will be time for 1-1s with your mentor. The other 1.5 days consist of personal study. You can plan this to suit your circumstances.
3. Ministry Experience
We will give you the opportunity to gain experience in one specific midweek ministry area. This might be helping to lead a youth or children’s club, supporting our Monday Group which is mainly attended by senior citizens, serving in the community café, teaching English as part of our ESOL programme or helping with our Tuesday Toddlers groups.
You will be expected to teach God’s Word at least once a month either in one of the services or in a small group depending on your particular gifting and calling.
4. Community Outreach
One of our primary aims is to help you gain experience of Gospel witness in an urban community. Therefore, our main expectation is not that you fill your time with Chapel based programmes. Rather, we hope to see you getting to know and make connections with the people where you live.
To help you do this, we suggest that you begin with a community survey. This will include conducting services, walking the area and making observations and using Internet based tools such as datashine to find out more about where you live.
We will also support you in activities such as door to door visits and running evangelistic courses such as First Look, Rooted and Christianity Explored. However, the biggest impact you are likely to have is as you make friends with neighbours and get to know people in your community leading to Gospel conversations.
We are praying that some of our interns will stay on in the neighbourhood, building these contacts and working towards the development of a church plant in the Black Country area. Others will take this experience on to other ministry contexts as pastors, planters, youth and children’s workers etc in some of the neediest urban areas in the UK.
We believe that this is a fantastic opportunity for those who are considering urban ministry to, gain experience and training. Please get in touch if this is something you are considering this.
You can find out more about Training with us here
You can find out more about Church planting with us here