Matt Sheridan & Lachlan Brown
Matt Sheridan completed an apprenticeship in 2015-2016 at Hunter Bible Church. He then went on to study at Moore Theological College for 3 years and this year, he and his wife and family have moved up to Armidale to work alongside Gary Eastment. Matt has also taken the step to train his first apprentice Lachlan Brown. Both Matt & Lachlan attended the MTS G8 National Apprentice & Trainers Conference as a new trainer and new apprentice. Read below for their review of the conference.
Matt: I’m Matt, and I’ve just joined the team at St Marks UNE Church in Armidale as the Campus Minister. Our church is located onsite at the University of New England and a significant part of our ministry is to the students and staff of the university. One part of my role is being a trainer to Lachie, Nelson and Lydia.
Lachie: Hi I’m Lachie, I’m 23 years old and I had been attending St Marks UNE Church for the past 4 years as a medical student. Over that time I had become more and more challenged about living for Christ and to serve Him as best I can. This thought eventually led to me becoming an MTSer at St Marks!
Matt: This is my third G8, but my first time as a trainer. I was really looking forward to getting back to G8 as it was an encouragement to me when I was an apprentice. I remember the time spent with other apprentices, chatting together and realising that the lows and highs of ministry were not unique to me. Now as a first-time trainer, it was encouraging meeting with other new trainers and discovering that the combination of excitement and nervousness around training were common also.
Lachie: Going down to G8 from Armidale, I had no idea what to expect. Everyone said good things about it without much detail. Suffice to say, I was a little nervous. However, I arrived and felt so welcomed by a warm, loving, God-focused bunch! We hit the ground running, as we were straight into meetings, studies, prayer groups and getting to know each other. Whilst it was full on, I found myself becoming more and more excited for the time ahead of full time ministry.
Matt: G8 stands out in its single-minded focus on multiplying workers for the harvest field. As a new trainer it was so helpful to be reminded of this vision and to be reminded that it’s not the recruitment concerns of my current ministry that are first and foremost, but the concerns of the kingdom that come first. I’m not looking to replace myself – I’m looking to see more gospel workers in the next generation than the current one.
Lachie: Although it had similar elements to Christians conferences, it was jacked on steroids in comparison. Every person there seemed to be radiating passion for the Gospel and telling people about Him. Everyday was jam-packed with Bible teaching, prayer groups, ministry principles sessions, and New Testament lectures (through the Timothy Partnership Program). A main difference was the focus and passion on ministry, preparing for not just the next 2 years of ministry, but a lifetime of service to God.
Matt: The highlight for me was meeting Lachie and beginning to get to know him. I realise that most trainers train an apprentice that they have ‘tapped on the shoulder’ to come and do an apprenticeship with them – they have a pre-existing relationship. In our case, it was the senior minister of St Mark’s who tapped Lachie on the shoulder and appointed me to be a trainer simultaneously. So it’s been a big learning curve for both of us and G8 was the perfect place for that to start – we sat under the same teaching for the week and were able to discuss how what we were learning would work itself out in our context in Armidale.
Lachie: I know it seems Cliché to say, but the whole conference was a highlight. The sermons challenging, the conversations around the dinner tables were always Christ-centred, meeting up with Shero to get to know each other and plan for the coming year so encouraging, all of the people loving and passionate about God, the food 10/10, even the shower in my room was a highlight – heat amazing, pressure top notch!