Since the earliest times in Egypt and Babylon (18th century BCE), every worthwhile trade had an apprenticeship where an apprentice would learn under the tutelage of his or her artisan the necessary skills for one’s craft (e.g. artists, carpenters, cobblers, ironworkers, printers, and even professional vocations like physicians and lawyers). Apprentices received extensive training with hands-on skills acquired through trial by fire. Jesus began working from a young age as a carpenter/mason receiving mentoring on how to be skilled at his vocation. Later, in his earthly ministry, Jesus had twelve apprentices who learned what it meant to be his disciple through 24/7 monitoring and mentoring. Jesus lent them his watchful eye as he evaluated their skills for ministry and offered sage wisdom on how to do it more effectively. Yet, sadly, many pastors and seminarians today learn ministry skills on the fly, on site, with little or no preparation, supervision, correction, or encouragement.
That’s where Mentored Ministry enters the picture. As pastors and ministry leaders-in-training, we need mentors. We need their practical advice, coaching, and wisdom on how to improve our ministry skills and have some working knowledge prior to being thrown into the actual ministry event or moment. We need their wisdom on how to navigate the joys and storms of life. While our minds are refined and stretched in courses on exegesis, theology, church history, sometimes we fail to connect theory in the classroom with praxis inside of church halls, worship spaces, congregant’s homes, counseling offices, and hospital bedsides.
You may have asked yourself this question: how do I lead a worship service, pray publicly, conduct weddings and funerals, lead a church business meeting, counsel congregants, deal with church conflict, do hospital visitations, and other significant ministry matters?
We are hopeful and prayerful that as you participate in the Mentored Ministry program you will find a place of ministry where you can laugh, enjoy God’s people, and not be afraid to make mistakes as you put your seminary training into practice among the lives of fellow Christians and others whom God loves.
Welcome to Mentored Ministry!