Sunday, September 13, 2009

One to one ministry, and ministry apprenticeships

I have just got around to reading The Briefing for this month, amazingly I actually read it in the month it was published!

The focus this month is on 'one-to-one ministry' - meeting with one other person regularly to read the bible and pray.

If you don't normally get the Briefing, this one is worth buying.

Have a think about whether you meet with anyone to read the bible together, and if not, ask yourself "why not?". Surely you and someone else could benefit from it? Why not take that scary step and ask someone to read the bible with you - it could be a friend, an older mentor, a new Christian or a younger mentoree (is that a word?!).

Isobel Lin, in her article "Women, awkwardness and one to one", lists three benefits of reading the bible with someone:
  1. Reading the Bible together can protect us from becoming self-absorbed (we don't spend the whole time talking about ourselves)
  2. Reading the Bible together can protect us for favouritism (we can meet with people we don't know very well)
  3. Reading the Bible together can give us the priceless treasure of a friendship that has been enriched by God's word
And don't think by the title of that article, one to one ministry is only for women, most of the rest of the issue talks about men meeting together.

There is also a very helpful article by Col Marshall for those considering full-time ministry and the importance of doing a ministry apprenticeship before having theological training. Some of his reasons include:
  • apprentices learn to integrate Word, life and ministry practice
  • apprentices are tested in character
  • apprentices are well-prepared for theological study (a point Husband & I would definitely agree with, have not done a apprenticeship and having gone straight to college. The people who had done a MAP/MTS program were more aware of the issues of ministry as they studied and the questions they needed to answer for ministry)
  • apprentices learn ministry in the real world
  • and a few more...
Worth getting your hands on if you thinking through such things...

I can email a copy of the eBriefing to any one who is interested (which is allowable under the copyright requirements). Leave a comment with your details (I will not publish it!) and I'll send it to you.

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