It can be easily, the longer you train apprentices, to slowly build a ministry machine into which they fit. They have their roles and you provide your curriculum.
But this is not the way to train great leaders.
Some people try to compensate for this by giving apprentices free reign in some area. They are given a blank canvas ministry opportunity. An open field to run (or build or farm) in. And this can help promote initiative and risk. But can also sometimes feel a bit artificial.
Another, complementary option is to deliberately build into their training 'exposure to great':
- Find ways to get them meeting with, learning from, working with, helping and watching great leaders. Get them out of your ministry hierarchy, and get them sitting in on important skype meetings with important leaders, get them assist in planning the whole ministry program or strategy. Send them off for a season to work with a church planter.
- Find ways to get them doing great things - far bigger and more demanding than a 'mere apprenticeship' might require. And rather than just throwing them in the deep end, commit a higher level of training, supervision and support than you normally give them in their regular duties.
This is especially the case if you perceive you have been entrusted by Christ with an exceptionally gifted ministry apprentice. You need to really stretch, grow, prepare and envision them during their time training with you.
Can you share examples of how you've done this?
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