There are 2 types of people in the world–those who know exactly where they are going and how they are going to get there and everyone else.

We’ve found, as we work with church planters, that this exceptional group of ministers can’t do what they do at the beginning of their ministry journey. It takes experience, faith, and more than a few failures to prepare a person to start a new church from scratch. A new seminary graduate may have book knowledge, but won’t usually have the years of hard knocks and wisdom that will shape them into the kind of vessel God can use to start something new.

As we’ve assessed ministers to be church planters over the years, we’ve observed a few things.

1. A key to planting a healthy growing church is having spent time as a minister or apprentice in a healthy growing church.

2. It’s important to know how to make connections in the community, recognize and respond to neighborhood needs, and have spiritual conversations with people outside the church.

3. A directed apprenticeship is a great way for young ministers to gain a breadth of experience. Like a medical or nursing student does rounds to figure out what they’re good at and what they enjoy, the ministry apprentice gets exposure to a possible future.

4. Campus ministry is a little like planting a new church every year. Campus ministers and their interns learn how to gather a new group of people each fall, disciple them for a school year, develop them into teams and give opportunities for community, and release them into their next phase of life. In the fall, they start all over again.

We don’t just work with church planters anymore. We work with potential future church planters, which means we invest in young leaders and help them find places they can serve, as interns, apprentices, campus ministers or in their current vocations. We help you find the next step on your ministry pathway. The path might lead you to become a church planter. Or it might lead you somewhere else entirely. Either way, you will have a better understanding of where God might be leading you and you will grow in your leadership abilities.

We’ll be focusing on apprenticeships this fall. Read our blog to get insight from 3 ministry apprentices and 1 supervisor.

If you want to discover your pathway in ministry, consider joining us for one of our Discovery Labs next spring. To find out if the lab is a good fit for you, fill out a self assessment and someone from our team will follow up with you.