Drew Kennedy

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we meet Drew Kennedy, a second-year Apprentice at Bruntsfield Evangelical Church in Edinburgh.

Drew Kennedy

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I was studying full time at Edinburgh Theological Seminary.


What does ministry look like day to day?
I am involved in a lot of kids and youth work. I help lead a Youth club for primary school kids, a Scripture Union group and our own Sunday youth ministry. When I’m not with the groups and young people I’m writing material and preparing. I also meet a couple of students and study with them on a one-to-one basis which I really enjoy.


What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
I’m learning a lot theologically and practically. I’m learning more about the theology and the practice of pastoral care, the different ministries I’m involved in and the life of a congregation week to week.

My highlights are seeing the guys I’m in one-to-one’s with grow in their love of the Lord Jesus, and be better equipped in their own Christian lives and better able to share the Gospel.


What are you learning through mentoring?
I have three official mentors! I meet one-to-one with Alistair Chalmers who is our line manager and main trainer. I have an internal mentor who is a member of our congregation and I have an external mentor, Christiaan Hofstra, the pastor of Bellevue Chapel, which lets me draw on three very different but all equally valuable streams of life and ministry experience.


What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I am currently looking at moving into a Youth Work role.


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

James Russell

Each week we’re  introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we hear from James Russell, a first year Minister in Training at Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh.

James Russell

What led you into training for gospel ministry?
Going into full-time ministry was not something I thought about very much when I was growing up! But while I was working as a worship leader in a church in Belfast God started to work in my heart and gave me a passion for discipleship and preaching, which led me to get some Bible training at Cornhill. It was at Cornhill that I really began to feel called into ministry. As we went through 2 Timothy, I felt a burning desire to ‘preach the word’ and ‘do the work of an evangelist.’ Following Cornhill, I was blessed with opportunities to preach in the local church back home in Northern Ireland and my elders confirmed that I should follow my desire to train for ministry.


What does training look like day to day?
At Charlotte Chapel I am responsible for the young adults and students group (YACC). YACC is a great opportunity to disciple young adults and students as they navigate university or as they enter the world of work. We meet weekly to study the Bible and regularly have seminars and outreach events. I also organise the Christianity Explored course which is a great opportunity to introduce the Gospel to people who don’t know Jesus yet. On top of that I am regularly involved with leading services, preaching and I attend elders meetings. 4 mornings a week I am studying at Edinburgh Theological Seminary. 


What have you learned over the course of your training? What have been the highlights?
I have learnt a lot! I think the highlight for me has been studying ecclesiology and thinking through what a church should look like – this has been really well-supplemented by being able to chat to pastors and attend elders meetings at Charlotte Chapel. I think my preaching has also benefited from my training so far as I grow in my ability to handle the Bible. 


What do you hope to do when you’ve finished training? What stage are you at with these plans?
When I have finished my training, I hope to go into full-time pastoral ministry in some form. Of course, where I go and what role I might have is entirely in God’s hands so I’m currently just trying to develop relationships as I submit to the leadership God has provided for me and remain open to God’s leading for the future. 


What role has the Bonar Trust played in your training?
Without the financial support of the Bonar Trust I wouldn’t be able to train full time. I am also really looking forward to taking part in the residential development weekends which I’m sure will have a big impact on my leadership and preaching. 


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.