Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we hear from James Burnett, a first-year apprentice at Christ Church Edinburgh in Craigentinny.
What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I worked for a charity based in East Lothian called ELCAP where I supported a young adult with additional support needs towards independent living.
What are you learning at Cornhill?
At Cornhill I’m learning invaluable Bible handling skills. The main focus of our studies is to be able to understand the Bible as accurately as possible through working out what exactly the author’s purpose was in writing each passage. We are then trained in working out the most helpful and effective way to communicate the truths each passage contains while also appropriately applying those truths to our audience.
What does ministry look like day to day?
Since starting at the beginning of September I’ve had the privilege of speaking at our lunch club which is a weekly outreach event. I’ve been able to lead our weekly prayer meeting twice and organised our church weekend away and led the programme. I’ve also led and preached at Sunday services.
What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
The most important thing I’m learning is how to preach God’s Word faithfully. It’s been a privilege and a highlight to be given opportunities to preach, and I’m grateful to the many people who offer me helpful feedback. I already feel that my preaching has improved greatly through the combination of Cornhill and honest feedback from those who care and want to see me grow.
What are you learning through mentoring?
My minister, David Court, is currently on sabbatical so in the meantime Ali Sewell from Haddington Community Church is mentoring me. Ali has a real gift in preaching God’s Word and pastoring God’s people and it’s a real blessing to have the opportunity to be mentored by him. He did Cornhill a number of years ago so as well as being able to offer help and advice in regards to church-related things he can also do the same in regards to my time at Cornhill.
What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
After my apprenticeship I’m very open to whatever I feel God calls me to. At the moment I feel as though I will go to ETS to study Theology but if I feel God closes that door and opens a different one I’ll be happy to walk through it.
If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like James, you can find all the information here.