Joanna Watts

Becoming a Howie: Reflections of a Second Year

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Vocational ministry had been in the back of my mind for several years before I decided to become Howie. At uni and work, I loved the ministries I served in at church and knew that Jesus was everyone’s greatest need. As I spoke to others about how to investigate if I was suited to ministry, I became convinced that the Howard Guinness Project was a great opportunity.

Firstly, I had seen others grow through the Howie program. I saw how they understood themselves better, had become more creative and confident how they went about ministry in church, and were dependent on God. It’s now my second year as a Howie, and I have already seen how God has been growing me in humility, as I’ve had to learn that ministry is all God’s work and not about my abilities. I’ve also grown more confident in evangelism and how to care for others.

Secondly, the staff team were ministers who I wanted to imitate. They had a deep grasp of the bible and taught it in a way that impacted lives. I felt loved and cared for by them, and I could see they had integrity and that they were living out what they taught. Whilst working with the EU Grads Fund staff team I’ve felt cared for and supported while being pushed to serve and love others the best that I can through every part of my ministry.

Finally, I saw that university offers many opportunities for training in practical ministry. It’s a unique point in life when people are questioning their beliefs and identity, and many are open to investigating Jesus. Christians have time and energy to serve, be trained and to share the gospel themselves. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to engage with people about Jesus, read the bible and pray with students, run training courses, wrestle with difficult doctrines, lead a mission team, recruit leaders and more.

I’m not yet certain what next year holds, but I am thankful for the ways God has grown me and the impact this experience will have on my ministry in the future.

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