Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we meet Struan Yarney, a first-year ministry apprentice at Trinity Church Aberdeen.
What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Before I started with Trinity, I worked with UCCF doing their mission and discipleship program called Relay at Robert Gordon University. Prior to my time with UCCF I studied history at the University of Aberdeen for four years.
What are you learning on your study programme?
I’ve been on the Cornhill course since September and am thoroughly enjoying my time there. It’s a real encouragement being in a class full of people who are there to submit to the authority of God’s word and are passionate about trying to teach and preach it faithfully across Scotland. Our classes are currently taking us through a Bible overview, a study of the book of Exodus, as well as instructions in preaching. The detailed study and unpacking of the book of Exodus has been a particular highlight so far.
What does ministry look like day to day?
As the cliché goes, no two weeks or even two days look the same in ministry with many varied tasks often popping up. However, the usual constants are helping lead student suppers (either doing a short talk or lead a bible study) and being part of staff meetings. Fortnightly, I meet with the minister and assistant minister for further study of something we’ve each read in the lead up to meeting. This has been a wonderful opportunity, not least to be able to pluck both of their brains about various ministry things! Other ministry opportunities include preaching, leading services, doing 1-to-1 Bible studies, and visiting older folks in the congregation.
What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
One of the things I’m learning is the importance of knowing people well in order to minister effectively to them. It seems like quite a simple thing, but more and more I’m learning how crucial it is if I’m going to serve my brothers and sisters well in encouraging them and when teaching them, whether that be in student suppers, 1-to-1’s or preaching. Particular highlights have been doing further theological studies with David (Minister) and Will (Assistant Minister) as well as continuing with student suppers and just seeing a growth in relationships and growth in love for God’s word together.
What are you learning through mentoring?
David Gibson mentors me and I think he’s been key in helping me see the importance of knowing people well in order to minister to them. Alongside that we’ve spent some helpful time looking at Paul’s narrative of pastoral ministry and a book on ‘The Pastor as Minor Poet’ with Will.
What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I’m not 100% certain on what I’d like to do post these two years with Trinity. I’m currently torn between going back to work with UCCF as a Staff Worker or going into some form of secular work.
If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Struan, you can find all the information here.