“MTS has far exceeded my expectations in every way. It’s been way more fruitful and exciting than I had hoped, and it has been more challenging and humbling than I had feared.”
For current MTS apprentice Nathan Xing, becoming an MTS apprentice came by exploring the pathways to serving Jesus through full-time gospel work. He shares, “The pastors who discipled me and encouraged me had themselves done a ministry apprenticeship, and I highly valued their character and ministry philosophy. So it made sense to me that I should do one too!”
Nathan is currently doing his apprenticeship at St John’s Anglican Cathedral in Parramatta, Sydney.
The long-time work of God
Nathan says, “One of the first lessons I learned was how ministry to God’s people is done over years and decades, and not simply weeks and months. Taking the long view of being a minister of Word and prayer helped temper my expectations of ‘fruitfulness,’ and encouraged me to disciple and build people up for the long run.”
In his time as an apprentice, Nathan has also loved how there has been a focus on growing his character, convictions and competency. The reminder to set goals for not only skills but also life and doctrine have been an invaluable practice he plans to continue implementing once he finishes MTS. He reflects, “I think if I were a congregation member, to know that my pastor was always intentionally growing in their faith and godliness would be a great comfort to me.”
Although he was excited going into his apprenticeship, the experience has been even richer than he could have imagined.
Nathan says, “MTS has far exceeded my expectations in every way. It’s been way more fruitful and exciting than I had hoped, and it has been more challenging and humbling than I had feared. The apprenticeship has really opened my eyes to what it’s like to be on the front line in shepherding God’s flock, while sharing that weight of responsibility with my trainer. All in all, I believe my MTS experience has prepared me well for whatever God has in store for the future.”
Being trained in the teaching of the Word
Nathan is doing an MTS-Cornhill apprenticeship. Cornhill is a training program that equips people to better understand and teach God’s Word. It is designed to train people to preach and teach the Bible in a way that is faithful, relevant, and engaging – whether in Sunday sermons, at youth group, in children’s ministry, in schools, on the mission field – wherever they have the opportunity. Together, MTS and Cornhill offer a pathway that provides apprentices valuable practical training in handling God’s Word alongside their hands-on ministry apprenticeship.
Nathan shares, “What I’ve treasured about Cornhill is how it instils in students a deep love and reverence for God’s Word. We are always warned not to skim over the Scriptures, but plunge into its depths and riches. From doing my own quiet times to preparing to preach on Deuteronomy 6, it has given me a renewed delight and awe in being taught by God himself!”
Something he also values about Cornhill is that you have a safe and comfortable group of peers to be able to give and receive honest feedback. He says, “We’ve all had our hearts sink when we didn’t quite get right the big idea or when our illustration falls flat, but we’re also there to encourage each other and point out each other’s gifts. It’s invaluable to have a team who are trained to give constructive feedback.”
Through the skills Nathan has learnt through Cornhill, he feels confident to regularly give talks to the youth congregation at St John’s. He reflects, “Cornhill has equipped me well in preparing to teach God’s Word clearly and faithfully, while still having the time in my week to disciple men, lead teams, and train leaders.”
Encouragement for the whole church
Through the past 2 and a half years as an apprentice, Nathan has seen MTS inspire urgency for the gospel. He reflects, “[MTS] puts front and centre the imminent return of Jesus, and the only hope to our gravest problem of sin. When churches witness their brothers and sister leave their careers to be equipped for a lifetime of gospel work, it leaves an indelible mark on the culture.”
According to Nathan, supporting MTS means giving gifted, godly, and passionate men and women the chance to make mistakes. Mistakes that will help them be better, wiser and more godly workers for the harvest in the future.
He says, “They will have some of the best opportunities to grow from their experiences with the support and careful supervision of their trainer. Please make this invaluable investment into the next generation of pastors and gospel workers!”
Support the work of MTS in raising up and resourcing apprentices and trainers here.