Like Jesus with his disciples, we believe that Christian leadership development ought to be holistic, touching all of life. Our goal is to equip apprentices for gospel ministry in all its dimensions, as they experience gospel ministry in a full-time capacity in the local church. Drawing on the Australian MTS strategy, we believe that apprentices should be growing in three areas:
Conviction has to do with the deeply held beliefs regarding gospel truth. Character has to do with the transformation of character that comes from a true knowledge of Jesus Christ through the gospel. Competence has to do with ministry skill and ability in communicating those convictions. In order to meet these goals, a TENT apprentice will be trained through:
1. Being taught (‘In the classroom’)
This aspect of the training will involve being taught by those already experienced and involved in full-time gospel ministry. This area is intended to develop Christian conviction and character and to train the apprentice to think theologically about ministry.The areas that will be covered can be envisioned as concentric rings extending from the centre. This teaching will take place primarily through the regional HOPE training course, but also within the local church. TENT apprentices can therefore expect the following:
- To attend weekly HOPE meetings and complete all assigned work.
- Their local mentor to take an interest in their progress and assign supplementary exercises where appropriate.
- Their local mentor to oversee a reading plan of at least one good theological book a term (at the level of Knowing God or The Cross of Christ etc.)
2. Teaching others (‘on the job’)
The most valuable skills for ministry are learnt through practical experience. To this end, apprentices will be exposed to as much practical ministry in the local church as possible. This area is aimed particularly at developing the apprentice’s competence in Christian ministry. Through this involvement, they will begin to discern where their own strengths and weaknesses lie. This area will include small group Bible studies, one-on-one discipleship and involvement in various other ministries. A TENT apprentice will be involved in:
- At least one core ministry (children/youth/young adults) where they are teaching the Bible to a small group on a regular basis
- One-to-one discipleship with at least 5 different people during the week
- Leading a church service/praying in public/reading the Bible in public at least once a term
- Leading or co-leading a training course at least once per semester (e.g. Workshop group on Equip, Christianity Explored Course, Guidance Course etc.)
3. Being mentored
A TENT apprentice will meet regularly with their ministry mentor with whom he or she can discuss ministry as well as personal issues. The apprentice will be given feedback on their ministry and helped with various ministry tasks at hand. The mentor will be responsible for overseeing both the apprentice’s growth in character as well as their growth in ministry competence. A ministry mentor will:
- Create ministry opportunities, oversee the apprentice’s ministry involvement and give thoughtful feedback as to where they can grow
- Meet weekly with the apprentice to pray and discuss the Bible, a theological paper, or some area of ministry with the aim of sharpening their theological conviction.
4. Practical tasks
In order for successful ministry to happen, certain administrative structures need to be in place. This area will grow the apprentice in ability to organize events (e.g. camps, outreaches, training courses etc.) as well as develop interpersonal skills for working with team members. Through this, the apprentice will learn what practical organization needs to be handled on a day to day basis for the task of gospel ministry. This also aims at developing a servant-hearted attitude which must accompany any gospel minister. In this area a TENT apprentice will
- Oversee at least one regular practical ministry (setting out chairs, printing and folding service sheets, setting out tea, book-table, etc.)
- Organize at least one camp/outreach per year where they are responsible for organizing venue, food, transport, program etc.
- Initiate and mobilise people to serve in a new ministry during the year