This is an appeal to church leaders. Is there someone in your congregation that you should be encouraging to train for pastoral ministry? You see, whilst often the conversation starts with the individual experience a sense of calling and beginning to ask questions, look at courses, respond to adverts etc actually, pastors, missionaries and church planters need to be set apart, commissioned and sent and to a great extent the responsibility for encouraging people down this route lies with church elders.
If there is someone who might be ready to gain training and experience then will you consider sending them to train with us?
During their time with us they will:
1. Benefit from the first-class academic theological training offered by Union School of Theology. Union offer the opportunity to study part time for a GDip in Theology as part of a learning community. We host one of the Learning Communities here at Bearwood Chapel.
2. The GDip covers half of their time training with us. The other half is dedicated to gaining practical experience of Gospel ministry. They will be serving in an urban, multi-cultural context learning how to share the Gospel cross-cultural and gaining experience of preaching, 1-1 discipleship, pastoral care, evangelism, youth and children’s ministry etc.
Here’s the promise. We won’t try to keep them. Of course it may be that from time to time someone trains with us who goes on to work longer term with Bearwood Chapel. However, our aim is to train people for the wider mission field.
Over the past few years we’ve had the joy of seeing people come and spend anything from a couple of months to a couple of years training and serving with us. They’ve come from all around the world and then have either gone on to serve God in other places or returned to their home country and/or church. Most recently, we’ve had the joy of seeing Hannes Ramsebner return to Austria as an assistant pastor. He started as part of an OM team, went on to work with us as a ministry trainee before completing his theology degree with Union. If you had asked Hannes a couple of years ago whether he thought he would return to Austria as a pastor he would have said no. But partly through the training he has received (practical and academic) but more so through God’s work in his life, he had been equipped and guided to the point where that’s exactly what happened. We will miss him because he was very much part of our church family but any sadness at saying goodbye is lost in the great joy at seeing someone go on to serve in the harvest field.
Our aim in most case would be to see someone train for 2 years before either:
1. Returning to their sending church and community to serve the Gospel there or:
2. Going on to serve in another needy area. Our particular prayer is to see people go on to plant churches in needy urban communities especially in the West Midlands.
So, if you know someone who this might be relevant to, please encourage them to have a look at our TrainBC page and then get in touch with us. We would love to partner with you for the Gospel.