Apprenticeships on the agenda


Training and recruiting for ministry is one of those important, but not urgent jobs. Unfortunately, this means that raising gospel workers can fall off the radar. Mark Earngey, Assistant Minister of Toongabbie Anglican Church, shares how his church brought ministry apprenticeships back onto the agenda:

We ran an MTS information night in order to educate young men and women about the MTS Apprenticeship, and why they ought to seriously consider it. We realized that whilst there were keen leaders, there was also a lack of awareness about what MTS actually is. We wanted to paint a picture of what MTS could look like and challenge people to seriously consider it.

After two weeks of videos and announcements in church, we sent out personal invitations and hosted an evening information session. We had singing, prayer, small group discussions, and videos. We also had guests who were briefly interviewed about their MTS experiences. Throughout the evening we spoke about “Why Consider Gospel Ministry?” and “What Would an MTS Program at Toongabbie Anglican Church Look Like?”

It was a focused and fun night. Many stayed around afterwards to talk with the interviewed guests. A few stayed late into the evening to seriously discuss what MTS would look like. Many were challenged and provoked to think seriously about what their future looks like.

We have one very keen and able young man who is chomping at the bit to begin MTS in 2013. There are also a number of wonderful guys and girls who are prayerfully considering MTS at Toongabbie in 2014 and beyond.

People seem to understand what MTS is about now. The church is enthused to see Toongabbie Anglican Church become an MTS Training Centre. This has really aided our church in a keenness to be a “sending” church.

What suggestions would I make to someone thinking of running a similar event?

1. Just do it! Time is short and your life is a mist (according to James 4:14), so give it a go!

2. Spend time getting “your ducks lined up” before the night. Show people that you’ve seriously thought about the program and that you’re committed to a quality training program for them.

3. Pray. Pray hard! Ask the Lord to raise up quality workers for His church.


The Trellis and The Vine outlines six steps you can take to develop a training culture in your local church as you work towards ministry apprenticeships. We think these steps are helpful for anyone who wants to see their local congregation raise future gospel workers.

Step 1 – Set the agenda on Sundays. Help people catch the vision for disciple-making and training.

Step 2 – Work closely with your elders or parish council. Help your leadership team to catch the vision for disciple-making, training and apprenticeship.

Step 3 – Start building a new team of co-workers. Start training a few to make disciples and train others.

Step 4 – Work out with your co-workers how disciple-making is going to grow in your context.

Step 5 – Run some training programs. Train every member in disciple making.

Step 6 – Keep an eye out for “people worth watching.” As people gifted in word ministry emerge, invite them into a ministry apprenticeship.