Martin Smith is in his final year as a pastor in training at Charlotte Chapel. He shares his experience of the Bonar Trust’s January Preaching Workshop.
I’ve been so helped by the Bonar trust over the last four years of receiving support, but few things have been as markedly beneficial as the time spent with other church leaders in training.
Our days together in January were the second time that we have gathered together with Robin and Paul to dedicate out time to growing as preachers and leaders. Robin and Paul both taught on how to handle specific sections of the bible which was followed by preaching groups where each of us preached and received feedback. The clear focus of the retreat was on handling and teaching God’s word well. It was so helpful in that it gave a clear reminder of the centrality of preaching in the life of the church, as well as practical help on how to faithfully teach the word. You might think, that pastors-in-training would know that teaching the bible is a big deal and shouldn’t be needing so much help! But it can be astonishing how easily priorities get obscured, and how bad habits when handling the bible can creep in and the basics can be forgotten.
I greatly benefitted being encouraged to keep preaching amidst its challenges, and by being reminded of how important it is to get to the heart and the aim of each bible book and passage is. Considering these things in an environment of honesty, humility and passion for the gospel with fellow workers, was good for my head and heart as a servant and follower of Jesus. I really believe that that input and those relationships are vital in equipping and sustaining those who plan to spend their lives teaching Christ in Scotland and further afield. Thanks to all involved, can’t wait for the next one!
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