Dan Reisinger

Each week we’re introducing you to people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we hear from Dan Reisinger who is a first-year Pastor-in-Training at Harper Memorial Baptist Church in Glasgow.

Dan ReisingerWhat led you into training for gospel ministry?
Church leaders recognised some raw gifts in teaching the Bible and discipleship and a genuine pursuit of godliness in public and private life, and they offered me a training role. After 3 years as a ministry trainee, I grew in godliness, gifting, a love for God’s son/word and people, and a real desire for pastoral ministry. That and some more church leaders recognising this helped me find a suitable next role.

What training had you done prior to your current role, if any?
I have done 3 years as a ministry trainee in 2 very different locations (Blackpool+Chessington). While there I have done the North West partnership training course and have completed the London Cornhill training course.

What does training look like day to day?
Harper is a great church to be training at, with a great team who are very focused on discipleship and training. There’s lots of opportunities to get stuck in with a wide range of ministry experience, and also times of shadowing Alan, the senior pastor, through some more unique and trickier pastoral situations.

Some ministry opportunities include: preaching+leading Sunday gatherings, leading a mid-week home group Bible study and a mid-week evangelistic/discipleship course, starting up+leading+teaching a weekly young adults work, 1-to-1s, and some involvement with local CU’s.

I also have the privilege of doing the Pastors’ Training Course at Cornhill Scotland, which breaks up into 50% classroom study // 50% home study once a week.

What have you learned over the course of your training? What have been the highlights?
I have learnt/been reminded and challenged afresh about lots even in the short time I have been at Harper. Some of these things include: the reminder that faithful gospel ministry often includes consistently doing the ordinary, often overlooked things to love and serve ordinary people in everyday life; the power of God’s word to transform lives; that our ministry is a creaturely one, we are limited and finite and so we are wholly dependant on God to be at work in and through us, and even often despite us.

What do you hope to do when you’ve finished training?
The desire would be to go into pastoral ministry wherever the Lord calls and brings me.

What role has the Bonar Trust played in your training?
The Bonar Trust has played a pretty vital role in my training already and I hope will continue to, as I would not be able to afford to work full time at Harper Church apart from the generous grant they have given to me for this year.


If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Dan, you can find all the information here.

Benjamin White

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. In this week’s post Ben White explains his work as a first-year ministry apprentice at Cornerstone Community Church in Stirling.


Benjamin White

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Last year I spent ten months working with UCCF, through the ‘Relay Programme’. Prior to that I studied ‘International Relations and Geography’ at The University of Aberdeen.


What are you learning on your study programme?
I spend Monday and Tuesdays studying at Cornhill. It’s split into two aspects; we have lectures where we have been studying Exodus, looking at a Bible overview and how to preach. The other aspect is preaching class, where we give expositions of a given passage ourselves. It has been a real joy to study God’s word in more detail and to have an opportunity to think about how one expounds on God’s word. It’s a really great time!


What does ministry look like day to day?
I work alongside Cat Thomas at Cornerstone and together we head up the Student and Youth ministry. That takes up the bulk of our time but I also help with the ‘Mainly Music’ toddlers’ group on a Friday, I attend and sometimes lead my Church Community Group, alongside being involved with many other aspects of the church family. 


What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
It is hard to condense what have been a really excellent two months so far. I really love Cornerstone and count it as a blessing to be doing a ministry apprenticeship here. We have been preparing a Bible overview with the youth and it has been great to show them how the Bible fits together and how parts of the Bible that they thought dry and dull are filled with excitement and ultimately point to Jesus. With the students we are looking at what it means to be a Christian; it’s been really encouraging to see them challenged by God’s word and to how they are responding to it. I am learning how to prepare and teach different sorts of biblical literature. The Bible overview has been particularly challenging in trying to distil the key themes of the Bible, but it has been a rewarding process and my own understanding of God’s word is growing.


What are you learning through mentoring?
I am mentored by our Pastor Calum Jack. I really enjoy our time together every Wednesday, but it can often be challenging reflecting on where I am not honouring God with my life. I have always struggled with perfectionism and it has been really great learning how to work to God’s expectations not mine. 


What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I have a number of different plans that I am pursuing. I know that wherever I end up I want to be proclaiming Jesus’ name in whatever opportunities I have.


If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Ben, you can find all the information here.