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.

Ashley Gardner

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. In this week’s post Ashley Gardner describes his experience as a first-year Pastor-in-Training at Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh.

Ashley Gardner


What led you into training for gospel ministry?
My own internal desire to serve the Lord Jesus in a full time capacity. Having explored various others options and coming to a deep dissatisfaction. This was accompanied by encouragement from elders/retired pastors and the doors being opened by the Lord as they were pressed on.

 

What training had you done prior to your current role?
1 year Cornhill and a ministry apprenticeship at Charlotte Baptist Chapel.

 

What does training look like day to day?
I currently lead a ministry (11-18 y/o). We teach through the Bible and teach topics relevant to our culture seeking to prepare them for life in the world as Christians. We meet socially to develop relationships key to the Christian life.

I lead services, preach, and have access to elders meetings within my local church. I also serve on a variety of other ministries: evangelistic/service orientated.

My studies take up 4 days in the week at Edinburgh Theological Seminary.

 

What have you learned over the course of your training? What have been the highlights?
Lots and lots, there is so much to be grateful for. Highlights have to be the growth in Bible handling. As Bible handling is the bread and butter of ministry, it’s key to work hard at trying to understand and apply the text. Cornhill was instrumental in this, as was sitting under excellent expository preaching at Charlotte Chapel. 

The formation of character in my own life has also been a highlight. Character is key in ministry and I recognise my many shortfalls. Graciously God is changing me. Recognising the depths of my sin against the backdrop of the richness of God’s Grace in Christ has enabled me to reflect deeper on what my salvation means. Therefore, ministering to others, not out of a sense that I’ve made it, but that Christ is the one we look to. 

 

What do you hope to do when you’ve finished training? What stage are you at with these plans?
I hope to go into some form of full time paid gospel ministry, maybe an Assistant Pastor. I am keeping my ear to the ground, developing relationships with pastors and being open to where the Lord is leading. I’m also submitting to the elders over my care and listening to their recommendations.

 

What role has the Bonar Trust played in your training?
So far, the Bonar Trust has been a financial benefactor. It is right to say that it would not have been possible to pursue ministry training without the support of the Trust. There are also opportunities in the future to provide some preaching and teaching development, something I’m eager to be involved with.

 

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

Scott Hamilton

Each week we’ll be introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. In this week’s post Scott Hamilton tells us about his experience as a first-year Minister in Training at Chalmers Church Edinburgh. 

Scott Hamilton


What led y
ou into training for gospel ministry?
This was a combination of two things. The first thing was a growing desire to do ministry and be involved on the front lines of God’s work in a local church context. The second thing was encouragement from men and women, peers and those older than me, to seriously think about training for gospel ministry. The combination of these two things has led me to where I am now. 


What training had you done prior to your current role, if any?
I’ve been involved in ministry in one shape or another around Edinburgh for the past seven years. I spent one year as an intern with UCCF. I then worked as an apprentice at Chalmers Church for two years before working for UCCF again for another four.


What does training look like day to day for you?
The training role has three main threads. The first one is being directly supervised and trained by my minister in my local church. He knows the intricacies of ministry better than I do and is able to watch me and offer input when needed (often!)

The second is being given an area of responsibility in a local church context (in my case, the music ministry) and being given enough autonomy to learn what it looks like to lead a group of people through change and growth. 

The third is theological study. I am primarily trained in my local church by the elders and others, but theological training is hugely helpful to understand how to handle the Bible and teach it to others. I’m hugely grateful to Cornhill and Crosslands for this training.  


What have you learned over the course of your training? What have been the highlights?
It has been such a privilege to see the Lord work through weak and sinful people like me! It’s been wonderful to see those who don’t yet know Jesus come to know Him as their Lord and Saviour. It’s been hard and wonderful to see the Lord shape me over the previous years, to show me my sinfulness and to remind me of the cross and His sovereignty at all times.  


What role has the Bonar Trust played in your training?
The Bonar Trust has essentially backed and supported individuals like me as we embark upon the necessary training needed for long-term gospel ministry. It’s been prepared to back us financially and continue to back us financially as we dedicate the hours needed to understanding the Bible, the gospel and sharing it with those who know Jesus and don’t yet know Him.

 

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