I can be a notoriously indecisive person. I studied a double degree in science and arts because I didn’t know what to choose and was hoping that I’d stumble into something I really loved. While I loved my time as a student at university, getting to explore human nature from different angles, what stays with me most clearly was the challenge to think about living and loving in places that are less reached or less resourced (LRLR) in an EU public meeting in my second year.
After being made aware of the vast inequalities in access to the gospel and the distribution of Christian resources, I was challenged to consider whether the decisions I was making about my life were being shaped by the truth of God’s gospel, or by the middle-class aspirations of my friends from school, university and often church.
While I benefited from lots of opportunities to mature in character and skills as a student, I realised that if I was to go and join a LRLR community, then rather than just arrive as a capable doer, it would be more helpful long-term to learn to be someone who could help equip and train others to flourish in the gospel as they are empowered to serve with their gifts.
These first five months working as a Howard Guinness Project apprentice have been a fertile training ground as I’ve learnt to be someone who trains others not just through intentional instruction, but through example. Though it’s often frightening when others follow your example, it’s a great joy having the encouragement of the senior staff who ensure that the example I’m setting is one that imitates Christ.
While training students as bible teachers, I’ve learnt to be an example of one who treasures the scriptures and submits humbly to what God has to say. While training small group leaders, I’ve learnt to be an example of someone who actively welcomes and cares for the people in the group. While training faculty leaders, I’ve learnt to be someone who prayerfully trusts God even when things are uncertain.