We've finally made it to the end of the apprenticeship! It's been full of a lot of different experiences, both positive and negative. I've learned that ministry can certainly be hard, but it can be amazingly rewarding at the same time. I'm so excited to keep working in ministry and see what God does in the future! Thank you for partnering with me this year so that I could have all these experiences!
The new UNT staff at our yearly leadership conference in Washington!
As part of the end of the year all the apprentices give a sermon to the staff recounting what we've learned through the apprenticeship. I felt like giving a brief rundown of that would be a very fitting thing for this ministry update! I'll intersperse pictures from some of the events and things this month as well! If you want more info about them just let me know! So here are some of the things I've learned over the apprenticeship:
The only photo of me giving my end of year sermon that exists.
One of the biggest things I've learned over this year is that I'd rather go out and get my hands dirty doing ministry than just sit back and only know theory. I've loved all the classes we've taken and all the scripture and theology we have learned, but I have also loved that I've been able to actually go out and use all those things I've learned. Going out and doing ministry you can get beat up, I mean look at how all the disciples ended up, but think of what they were able to do. You don't change the world like that from inside a locked room!
A photo of our students who gave up a week and a half of their summer to learn more about making disciples!
Another of my big takeaways was learning to be okay with paradoxes and things that are held in tension in the Bible. We read this book called Elmer Gantry towards the end of the apprenticeship and there is this quote that has really stuck with me. One of the characters is a preacher but is questioning Christianity, and he says this: “That’s the whole aim of the ministerial training: to teach us to reconcile contradictions by saying that one of them doesn’t mean what it means- and it’s always a good stunt to throw in “you’d understand it if you’d only read it in the original Greek.” I don't ever want to be someone who makes the Bible say things that it doesn't say. I've certainly learned to read the Bible in context, and learn background of books and authors, but I don't want to use that info to twist it into saying what itching ears want to hear.
Our end of year party for our students.
The final big takeaway that I will touch on is learning about the character of Jesus. I feel like this year I have been able to draw so much closer to Jesus and really learn more about His grace and love for us. I tend to get overly critical of myself and even the things that I am doing for God. I start to question if what I'm doing is "good enough" and freak out when things don't go well. So something I've really learned is that we shouldn't get so busy doing stuff for God that we miss God doing stuff.
Our end of year staff party
There is so much more that God has taught me this year, but that would make this blog way to long. Thank you again for making it possible for me to learn all these lessons and grow as a disciple of Jesus this year. I'm so excited to continue in this ministry and keep growing these next couple years. We're entering the summer which is a time for us where we raise funds that allow us to continue ministering to college students. This year I am praying for 10 new donors at $100 a month. If I hit that goal it will help this be a sustainable thing for Darby and I. So I would ask that you join me in prayer for hitting that goal, and if you think of anyone who might be interested in partnering with me, let me know! Thank you so much!