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.
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.