Craig Newill on training Andrew Powell

Craig Newill, MTS Trainer
WPC Bull Creek, WA

On training Andrew Powell (MTS Apprentice 2018-19)

What do you find most challenging about training an apprentice?

I have loved spending time with Andy and have found it a great privilege to be part of his growth as a Christian and as he has developed ministry skills.  The challenge has been in not being able to give him more time than I have.  We are a growing church with many changes in recent years making time a huge challenge.

In what areas have you seen Andy grow?

Andy has grown as a preacher.  There has been remarkable growth from the first talks he gave to the last sermon he preached just a few weeks ago.  He has also grown in understanding and managing the many layers of work that come with ministry – for example, among other things, admin, meetings, pastoral care and leadership.  He is a compassionate man and has seen that his time can easily be taken up by the many pastoral care needs that arise – he is learning to manage these.

What are some things of the things you do with your apprentice each week and is there anyone else involved in his ministry training?

His training is covered by a number of people.  Among other things his training involves……

  • Understanding how to interpret scripture and write talks is covered by a local trainer, Tim Thorburn, who does this each week at our church facility for a number of apprentices from local churches as well as for AFES campus workers.  This includes mock talks that are delivered and then given feedback.
  • Along with our other apprentices he is in a book reading group led by a retired UWA professor – they have been working through key books covering a range of areas such as biblical theology, doctrine and practical theology.
  • I have all the apprentices take part in sermon feedback meetings where one of the pastor’s sermons from Sunday are discussed.
  • They are part of our strategy meetings and weekly staff meeting with the whole team – pastoral and admin.
  • Each apprentice has areas of ministry focus where they take responsibility for the running / oversight of a ministry or aspects of a ministry.  Andy has been involved as a chaplain to Boy’s Brigade at our church as well as developing our Sunday morning crèche ministry.  Crèche ministry involved setting it up, recruiting team members and developing a curriculum so that it was not just babysitting but had bible input too.
  • I meet with Andy for an hour and a half each week to read thorough the Bible and discuss, to pray and to talk through how his whole ministry scope is going.  His ministry scope includes one-to-ones and pastoral care.

Any other comments?

Andy has been a joy to work with for his teachable attitude and servant heart.  There is no doubt that he has shown himself to be a man of conviction, character and competence.  It hasn’t been easy – he has been challenged with difficulties around a young child who struggled to sleep properly and a wife in shift work.  There is no doubt that the apprenticeship period has given him great awareness of his gifts and abilities, a deep understanding of ministry life and an idea as to what his family needs were he to continue into paid Christian work.  Whatever route he takes he will make a wonderful contribution to Gospel work.

Read about Andrew (Andy) Powell’s apprenticeship journey here