ABOUT THE CHURCH
We are a new small independent evangelical church in the heart of Oxford. We aim to be a diverse church comprising all the peoples of central Oxford, with a particular emphasis on the large number of students both British and international. About 50% of our attenders are in full time education, with the rest spanning a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Trainees therefore have the opportunity to gain experience in this city centre church planting context.
AIMS OF THE TRAINEESHIP
We are offering one-year or two-year placements aimed at nurturing, training and teaching men and women in order to equip them for fruitful lives of service whether or not they intend to go into full-time church work in the future. We aim to develop trainees in there main areas:
Teaching and personal study programme aimed at deepening understanding of the Bible and how to apply it to life
Training and practical experience to develop core skills such as teaching the Bible, one-to-one discipleship, evangelism
Mentoring and discipleship to help trainees reflect on what they are learning through their study and experience, and to apply this in their own lives and let God shape them through it.
CORE RESPONSIBILITIES AND INVOLVEMENT
There are three main components to the trainees’ responsibilities on a week to week basis. The exact involvement in these areas is flexible and can be tailored to suit an individual trainee’s gifts, abilities and passions.
Trainees will normally attend the South Central Ministry Training Course which is based in Oxford and runs one day a week. It provides an opportunity to develop Bible-handling skills as well as the skills necessary to teach it to others. There is also an opportunity to give talks or lead Bible Studies and receive feedback and advice.
Trainees meet each week for approximately 90 minutes with a mentor (either the student worker or pastor) to read the Bible together and to pray. This important time provides an opportunity to reflect on their experiences and understanding of ministry and the encouragements and challenges it raises for their own personal walk with Christ. It also helps them think through how the training scheme is preparing them for a lifetime of service to Christ and his church.
There is also the opportunity to attend the two “Formation” training conferences in the course of the year organised by Living Leadership, in September and March. Additional specialist training opportunities, such as preaching workshops, outreach to Muslims, children’s ministry etc, are also available to those who are interested.
We have a wide range of discipleship and evangelism activities in which trainees can get involved to gain experience in gospel ministry. There is a degree of flexibility allowing this involvement to be tailored to the trainee, and there is also scope to serve in different areas of the church’s life throughout the course of the placement. Some of the ministry areas where trainees could be involved include:
one-to-one discipleship of younger Christians or students
teaching the Bible in small groups or occasional preaching opportunities
organising and leading weekly evangelistic Bible study groups
organising evangelistic events and programmes
international student outreach
Secondment to other gospel ministries in the city such as Oxford Schools Chaplaincy may also be possible
This provides an invaluable service to the rest of the church. It is also valuable in developing qualities of servant heartedness and humility which are vital for Christian ministry.
Each week trainees will be expected to be involved in some office administration, to set up for various church meetings, and other basic practical duties.
QUALITIES OF CANDIDATE
We are looking for enthusiastic Christians who are keen to learn, serve the gospel and gain experience in a local church context. In particular:
People who have a commitment to the importance and centrality of God’s word in their own lives, and a desire to share and develop that in others.
A Christian humility that is shown in an eagerness to learn and willingness to wholeheartedly serve in a whole variety of different contexts.
A level of Christian maturity that would enable trainees to meet with and lead others in Bible study and manage basic pastoral issues.
The ability to work as part of the church staff team
Trainees are expected to raise a significant proportion of their own financial support to cover their living expenses. We estimate the total costs, for a single person will be about £6-8,000 per year. Trainees can raise support throughout their year with us – all of it doesn’t need to be ready for when they start. In addition the church has a fund for grants of up to 50% of the trainee’s costs. Finances and fundraising are discussed at interview, and support and advice are offered regarding raising this amount.
An alternative arrangement is for trainees to find part-time paid work and to take part in the traineeship on a reduced time basis. The paid work would mainly replace the practical service component of the scheme. We estimate that a trainee could seek paid employment for up to two days a week without significantly impairing the value of the experience.
If you are interested in applying please fill in the form below. We can also organise for prospective candidates to come and visit the church. If this is the case please email James or Peter to organise further details.