Alice Gerty is a primary school teacher who has taken the leap to do a ministry apprenticeship in 2024/2025 at Crossroads Christian Church in Canberra. While an apprenticeship was suggested to her over five years ago, it’s been a slow and considered process of God working to convict her to try a ministry pathway.
Adopted by a loving Heavenly Father
For Alice, being forgotten was the opening for her coming to know Jesus. After soccer practice at the age of 16, she found herself standing alone, with her mum having forgotten to pick her up.
She shares, “I had a few friends that were going to youth group, and they were like, ‘Hi, how are you? Why don’t you come along?’ And I didn’t have a change of clothes or anything. I didn’t even have other shoes. But I thought – oh, well, I guess I don’t have anywhere else to go.”
Having grown up nominally attending church around Easter and Christmas, Alice went along considering herself a Christian already. She reflects, “I went to youth group probably thinking that I was a Christian. I think I thought that I believed in God and I knew who God was, and that made me a Christian. But I got there and I very quickly realised – I don’t actually think I’m a Christian.”
As an extrovert who loved the social nature of youth group, Alice kept going along and eventually ended up at KYCK, the big Christian youth convention in the Blue Mountains. She recalls, “There was a talk on adoption there. And just hearing that talk after having a dad who really wasn’t in my life at all, but hearing that I have this loving heavenly father who’s adopted me and who loves me so much that He gave his only son Jesus to die for me, that was one of those huge moments. I realised I actually do have a God who loves me, who cares for me.”
Alongside faithful teaching at her youth group at Hunter Bible Church in Newcastle, and her prayerful and patient youth leaders answering her questions, Alice committed her life to Jesus later that year at the age of 16.
A slow and steady decision
After school, Alice went to university and studied teaching. It was there that a ministry apprenticeship was first suggested to her, but it didn’t feel like the right time to consider taking the leap.
She finished university and got a job teaching in Gunnedah NSW. Alice found she loved teaching and loved being in her church and community there. The idea of ministry was raised again by members of her church, and through her old mentors in Newcastle, and she started to consider an apprenticeship a little more.
In 2022 Alice moved again, this time to Canberra for a different teaching job. She joined Crossroads Christian Church and found herself having the apprenticeship discussions yet again.
Alice shares, “My reasons for not doing it were family. My family aren’t Christians, and my single mum worries there won’t be stability. There’s this element of me just wanting to please my mum. But also I actually really love teaching. Some people don’t love their jobs but I love my job.”
Having felt like she’d already made the decision not to take up an apprenticeship, Alice felt the conviction of God to reflect on and reconsider her objections. She shares, “Over the last year, I had growing convictions that I can’t please everyone and I shouldn’t be looking to please other people, I should be looking to please God. And I also should be remembering that God will provide. Yes, it might be hard. I’m not going to have as stable of an income and it’s not going to be as routine as my job now, but it’s still going to be good.”
One of her pastors, Simon Nixey, played a significant role in reshaping her perspective. Alice says, “He’s been very patient and generous with his time and meeting up with me to talk about it and just listening to all of my excuses and very kindly answering them. One thing he said was ‘You’ll be okay. Teaching will always be there if you want to go back to it, but why don’t you just try this.’ I think that was good to hear.”
Another important voice and mentor to Alice in this process has been Kids and Youth Pastor Sarah Rootes, who will be her trainer next year. The two of them have been meeting up and reading the Bible together this year, a relationship they will continue to build on as apprentice and trainer.
Ministry that is new and unknown
What her apprenticeship will look like and what exact ministry it will involve are still being worked out, but Alice has nervous and excited anticipation for being freed up to do ministry and to be trained.
She shares, “I’m excited to just have time to do ministry. At the moment I love doing it and I’m doing things, but I don’t have the time to invest in things as well as I would be able to if I was doing it as my full-time job. I look forward to meeting up with people and reading the Bible, and even shaping ministries that I’m passionate about. I’m heaps excited to be trained too, to grow, but also to be able to get alongside people and encourage them and train them.”
Please be praying for Alice as she approaches support-raising for her apprenticeship, prepares to finish her job well, and makes many changes in her life and routine for the sake of the gospel.