Ask Jackson

Posted by Amy on March 8, 2018
Categories: 6pm blog


On Sunday we heard from Jackson about the Ministry Apprenticeship at St Helens. We caught up with him this week to ask the questions you really wanted the answers to.

Somebody asks "I’m worried about giving up my salary. How have you dealt with this?"

Yeah, it’s been tricky. Thankfully Annalise (Jackson’s wife) is still working so she’s providing for our household! But we’ve also had support from friends who have wanted to contribute. So we’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had to look for much extra funding. The trick is to get on to it early. Be honest with people. And lots of people contributing a little bit soon stacks up. There are lots of trusts you can apply to, but again you just have to get on to it early.

How do you make sure you still have time to see your non Christian friends?

That is such a hard thing to do. It’s good to be really deliberate to make sure you have time in your calendar that won’t be training or whatever, and you specifically think about it in advance. It’s the same advice you’d give anyone who moves to London – you’ve just got to be deliberate and plan it in advance, and realise it will be an issue.

Do you ever get bored of studying the Bible?

Bored? No, definitely not bored. Sometimes I get tired of it. Sometimes it can be discouraging when something doesn’t come as quickly as you want it to. When you’re busy you want answers to jump out at you and to understand it quickly. And that’s fun and rewarding. But if you keep working on it, and when it does come, its even more rewarding. It is something you need to work on.

How do you get your hair to do that thing where its sculpted and messy?

Yeah - no product. I just use my hand to brush it to the side.

What if I don’t know if I’ll be any good at full time ministry?

You just never know! Even if you think you are you’re probably not as good as you think you are. (!!) You just don’t know before you try it. If you’re really worried, then RML is a really good place to give it a go. Talk to your leaders, maybe try writing a bible study with them. Get started before you do the scheme.

How have you grown most over the year?

I want to say scheduling.

You bought a diary?

I started using the diary I have. I think it’s in my convictions that God’s word has a purpose and it’s clear for us to discover. It’s written there for us to read and for us to understand.

What are your options for the end of the year?

I could go back to work. I could keep going with this scheme. I could look for work in a church. I don’t know yet!

What areas of ministry have you got to do that you hadn’t done before?

Giving talks has been new. And going on a mission week has been completely different. I’ve also been able to help out on some weekends away, like leading a session.

Have you discovered any gifts that lay dormant?

Yeah – I thought I would hate giving talks, but I’ve actually really enjoyed the challenge of it. It’s all the same things as doing a bible study except you just have to be clear and say it. It’s a different kind of skill and it’s a challenge but its good fun.

Are there any hard lessons you'd like everyone to know about ministry?

The amount of work that goes in behind the scenes for the ministry to happen. People preparing for the studies, for the evenings. All the effort that leaders put in studying, writing the study, following up with people. I think if I’d understood that at the start of Mark I’d have appreciated it differently.

Why have you done the apprenticeship now and not later?

I think the question is just ‘why not now?’ It makes sense to get in as soon as you can. In particular I’ve got this opportunity at St Helens with so may people who are so keen to train and learn the bible. Make the most of RML while you can. Work hard yourself, getting all the training you can from the leaders. I think sometimes the leaders are worried about pushing it too much. But if you make it obvious that you’re keen then they’ll just love that and want to help out as much as possible.
Check out Jackson’s video to find out more about the ministry apprenticeship.

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