Christine West

The Final Countdown for Finishing Howies

by Christine West

“I could never be a Howie…” were the words I spoke a few years ago. And now, what is left of my 2 year ministry apprenticeship is only but 2 months – the final countdown has truly begun. At this point in the journey, countless Howie’s have asked the same question: “Was it worth it?” Well, I’ll let you decide based on these 3 things I have learnt.

First, ministry opportunities are endless. There is no limit to what you can do for God. I’ve had the joy of personally seeing 3 people come to Christ. I’ve taught students how to teach from the bible, love and lead entire faculties and pastorally care their peers. I’ve seen students think of innovative ways to reach their pocket of the university for Jesus. I’ve been able to send the next generation of students to live radically for Jesus. The ‘harvest’ really is ‘plentiful’.

Second, there is always more to learn. I struggle to count all the skills I’ve learnt and ministry opportunities I’ve had over the last 2 years. A few words come to mind: leadership, pastoral care, teaching, encouraging, planning, strategy, evangelism, cross cultural ministry and the list continues. Because of this apprenticeship, the 10 finishing Howie’s of 2017 are equipped to start up innovative ministry opportunities in their own contexts, train and equip the body of Christ and reach the society with the gospel, all the while recognising there is always more to learn.

But the biggest lesson of them all: God is completely sovereign. No matter how much I did or tried, ultimately I was not in control – God was. It was a scary thing to become a Howie and be dependent for financial provision, until I learnt that God provides. It was a scary thing to feel the weight of the student’s salvation, until I was reminded that God has the power to save. It was a scary thing to feel responsible for the student’s maturity, until I remembered that it is God who brings the growth. All praise be to God.

Was it worth it? A resounding Yes.

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