Ministry Training Strategy

sharing jesus with sydney and beyond

We dream of seeing 10 gospel workers equiped and sent out into gospel ministry over the next 10 years.

Ministry Training is bigger than Vine Church. We deeply believe it is the job of each local church to raise up the next generation of gospel leaders. 

What is Ministry Training?

Ministry Training is bigger than Vine Church. We follow a training strategy (MTS) adopted by many likeminded churches around Australia that aims to recruit and train gospel workers for the vital task of reaching the millions of people in our country.

MTS is a 2-year program where trainees learn to evangelise and teach the Bible, alongside the leadership of a trainer.  There are five components to the training approach:

    1. Practical ministry experience
    2. Participation on the congregational Connect and Care team
    3. Relationship with trainer
    4. Training curriculum
    5. Conferences

At the conclusion of the program our hope and prayer is that apprentices will:

  • enrol in theological study to continue preparation for a lifetime of ministry; or
  • enter paid Christian ministry by working for Vine Church; or
  • return to full-time work better equipped to lead and serve in gospel ministry.

Current Ministry Trainees

MTS Apprentice

Beth Williams has been a student minister at Vine Church during 2022 and joined our team as a Ministry Training Apprentice (MTS) in 2023.

Beth is gaining valuable experience and contributing to the life of Vine Church by serving in Next Gen Ministries, Community Groups, Vine Youth, Mission and Communications. 



The Evangelical Union

Brian works with staff and students of the Sydney University Evangelical Union to see university student come to know Jesus and be trained for a life of ministry.

Visit Syd Uni EU for more info


The ministry training apprenticeship is centred on prayer, Bible study and practical ministry and will help you work out how you are wired and how you might plug in to grow God’s Kingdom with the rest of your life.

Who should I do an MTS Apprenticeship?

Everyone who knows and loves the Lord Jesus, and cares about his people and his kingdom should consider undertaking an apprenticeship in Word ministry.

You will get he opportunity to serve in different ministries to different kinds of people, discover your gifts, try your hand at a number of ministries, initiate a ‘new ministry,’ grapple with theological and ministry issues, and work on your character.

What does MTS look like?

Gospel ministry is by nature flexible. The opportunities for ministry and mission are numerous and gospel workers build their week around these opportunities. As a result there is no typical week for apprentices. 

Apprentices will be given a program tailor-made for them and their context, a trainer who will help them set goals to grow in three key areas:

  • Christian conviction 
  • Christian character 
  • Christian competence

What is the Stipend or Scholarship?

We expect apprentices to raise 50% of the costs of their training through tax-deductible giving.  Fundraising can be daunting, but it is an important part of ministry for at least 3 reasons:

  • Helps  us to depend on God;
  • Challenges us to put before our Christian friends and family the priorities of the kingdom; and
  • Opens supportive partnerships that enrich both the giver and receiver.

Considering if ministry training is for you?

Everyone who knows and loves the Lord Jesus, and cares about his people and his kingdom should consider undertaking an apprenticeship in Word ministry.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I convicted of the fact that Jesus Christ is the only way that my family, friends, and city are going to be saved from hell (John 14:6)?
  • Are my circumstances such that I’m ready for MTS?
  • Is my character growing to be like that of 1 Timothy 3?

If so, then MTS might be the right place for you:

  • To test your competency in ministry skills and abilities.
  • To have Godly counsel watch your life and doctrine, and give you feedback about whether full-time vocational is the right thing for you.

If you’re keen, and want more information then let’s have an initial conversation and talk about the possibilities of you doing MTS.

We offer a hands on, fully involved training experience including...

The essence of MTS is the training of apprentices through practical ministry experience alongside one to one coaching from a designated trainer. There are five components to the training approach:

1. Practical Ministry Experience

Apprentices will get the opportunity to serve in significant ways within a variety of ministry teams. This may involve being part of the team or leading the team yourself. The particular ministry opportunities available depend on the unique gifts and interests of each apprentice, but a number of possible opportunities include: 

  • Reading the Bible with evangelistic contacts.
  • Leading people through Christianity Explored and the Followup Course.
  • Coordinating the Bread of Life team, and providing hope for those in need.
  • Running outreach events such as Mardi Gras Outreach, Summer Mission, Christmas Festival etc.

  • Serving on the Connect and Care Team which seeks to connect with new people at church and care for those who are doing it tough.
  • Leading people through Onboard and getting them established in a Community Group and serving in a Ministry Team.
  • Leading or serving in the Hosting or Foodies Team on Sundays.
  • Running events which bring people together including Newcomers Nights, Weekend Away, Man Camp, Girl’s Getaway, Socials etc.
  • Conducting pastoral visits to people in hospital.

  • Planning Sunday gatherings.
  • Leading Sunday services.
  • Leading bands and musicians.
  • Leading AV and production teams.
  • Coordinating and promoting prayer through Prayer & Praise Nights and other opportunities.
  • Writing and distributing Bible reading and prayer resources which help people in their time with God.

  • Meeting one to one with people you are discipling for prayer, Bible reading and encouragement.
  • Leading a Community Group.
  • Coaching Community Group leaders.
  • Teaching Preliminary Theological Certificate courses.
  • Coordinating Faith & Work events.
  • Running a bookstall and encouraging people to read.
  • Preparing and giving a Bible talk.
  • Building a culture of joyful service at Vine Church.
  • Recruiting volunteers and helping them find opportunities to use their gifts to build the church.
  • Training Ministry Team Leaders to be more effective in leading their teams.
  • Discipling kids or youth on Sunday mornings at Vine Kids or Vine Youth.
  • Leading or serving at the Jungle afternoon kids club.
  • Leading or serving at Friday night Vine Youth.
  • Teaching scripture in local schools.

2. Participation on the congregational Connect and Care team

You will be involved your your congregation’s (9.15am, 11am, 4.30pm) weekly Connect and Care meeting at which you will join the pastoral staff in shepherding those in their congregation. You will play an integral role in pastoral ministry and experience the joys (and sorrows) of how people respond to God.

3. Relationship with trainer

Each apprentice will meet weekly with their trainer for a guided reflection on what they are learning, as well a prayer and encouragement. A distinctive of how the New Testament envisages ministry training is that it is not a classroom experience, but an experience of working side by side with an experienced and godly christian leader. The Paul-Timothy relationship is what MTS is patterned off. Your trainer will be concerned, not first an foremost about what you will achieve in ministry, but who you are and who you are becoming.

At the completion of your internship you will write a Reflection Paper (1,000 words) to help you reflect with your minister on what you have learned.

4. Training curriculum

Apprentices will receive fortnightly training in theology, ministry, and leadership. Each apprentice will be given a tailor-made program for them and their context, and their trainer will help them set goals to grow in three key areas with eight key learning areas:

  • Bible Study
  • Thinking Theologically

  • Prayer and Godliness
  • Relationships in Ministry

  • Evangelism and World Mission
  • Teaching the Bible
  • Training Others in Ministry
  • Leadership

5. Conferences

All apprentices will go with their trainer to the MTS G8 National Apprentice Conference, as well as join the rest of the staff team at conferences which they attend together throughout the year (including Reach Australia and Nexus).

Partner with our Ministry Trainees

Vine Church Foundation – Scholarships

Every year, we provide a combination of hands-on experience, training and mentoring for a group of men and women who are about to enter full-time gospel ministry. Through the Vine Church Foundation we are able to provide scholarships to train and equip the next generation of gospel ministers. This is a tax deductible gift. 

Transfer a single or recurring gift from your account using the details below:

Vine Church Surry Hills
BSB 062 033.   AC# 1075 0624
Reference: Scholarships + Name (E.g. ScholarshipsJSmith)

Give a single or recurring gift via credit card or debit card with no registration or account needed.

Please note this incurs a 1.4% bank fee.

MTS Testimonials

Here are some of the faces who have completed MTS either here at Vine Church or at another local church that invested in raising up the next generation of gospel leaders. 

Benji Vaytet

Ministry Location and Year: Vine Church – 2020

Training focus: Youth and 4.30 Community

MTS Trainer: Andy Bryan

Now serving at: PHD student in systematic theology at UNIGE

Sarah Cheng

Ministry Location and Year: Vine Church – 2019-2020

Training focus: Vine Kids, SRE and the Jungle

MTS Trainer: Bruce Linton

Now serving at: Lay Ministry in her local church

Becky Cockroft

Ministry Location and Year: Vine Church; 2017-2018

Training focus: Vine Kids, SRE and Ministry Portfolio

Ministry Trainer: Andy Bryan and Esther Neate

Now serving at: Lay ministry in her local church and working as a Ministry Administrator for MTS.

Bob Beissmann

Ministry Location and Year: Vine Church – 2016

Training focus: Bread of Life and Ministry Portfolio

MTS Trainer: Andy Bryan

Now serving at: Bendigo in lay ministry

Mike Wziontek

Ministry Location and Year: Vine Church; 2013 - 2014

Training focus: Membership Portfolio, Mission Portfolio, SRE and Bread of Life

MTS Trainer: Toby Neal

Now serving at:
Community Pastor at City on a Hill, Brisbane.

How did MTS prepare you for a lifetime of ministry? I got exposed to a range of ministries and given a context where I could grow and learn from both wins and mistake

Toby Neal

Ministry Location and Year: Christ Church Gladesville; 2005-2006

Training focus: SRE, Youth and Young Adults

MTS Trainer: Bruce Linton, LT Hopper and Phil Wheeler

Now serving at: Lead Pastor of Vine Church

How did MTS prepare you for the job you are doing now?: It gave me a relationship with my mentor that enabled me to look humbly at my weaknesses and grow.

Al Stewart

Ministry Location and Year: UNSW – 1983 & 1984

Training focus: One to one discipleship and small group leading

Now serving at: National Director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches

How did MTS prepare you for the ministry you are doing now?: It gave me confidence that the Word of God changes lives.

Hayley Gibbins

Ministry Location and Year: St Matthias Church, Centennial Park; 2006-2007

Training focus: Youth, SRE, Mission and Drama

Ministry Trainer: Caroline Spencer, Warwick de Jersey and Dave Rogers

Now serving at: Vine Church as Communications Director, partnering with her husband Steve, who is an Anglican RAAF Chaplain and as a mother to four children.

How did MTS prepare you for a lifetime of ministry?: It taught me that in whatever season of life God places me, there are always abundant opportunities to share Jesus with those around me

Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38

Eight reasons why you should consider MTS

Adapted from MTS Info Night Brochure

1. 82% of Australians are going to hell

According to the Australian Communities Report survey commissioned by McCrindle Research and Commissioned by Olive Tree Media:

  • 50% do not identify with a religion
  • 18% identify themselves as protestant/evangelical
  • 23% of protestant/evangelical Christians ‘very regularly’ attend church

MTS wants every apprentice everywhere aiming to prayerfully and dependently upon God, seek to win 10 people (children, adults, family, friends, youth, seniors, workmates, teammates) for Christ in the 2 years of their apprenticeship.

2. You’ll learn how to evangelise lost Australians!

Evangelism is about 3 T’s:

  • Teaching – you’ll teach people the gospel that brings life
  • Team – you’ll be part of a team passionate to reach the lost
  • Time – you’ll have time to follow people up

3. Word ministry matters a lot

  • Word-ministry is the key to helping God’s church grow (Mark 1:14-15, Matt. 28:18-20, Eph. 4:18-20).
  • Therefore, it’s worth asking yourself: ‘Why shouldn’t I aim to do Word ministry full-time?’
  • Alongside friends and ministers, MTS is a great way to test out whether the Lord has gifted you for Word ministry.

4. MTS prepares people for word ministry

  • It’s the best way to train. If you want to work out whether you’re suited to be a farmer, don’t work on a farm 1 day a week. Go and be a farmer full time for 2 years, 2 cycles of the seasons.
  • By doing Word ministry, MTS gives a person a sense of the demands of full-time paid Word ministry (preaching, school chaplaincy, youth work, children’s ministry, evangelism, etc.)
  • Because a person is strengthened by the doing of Word ministry, they are prepared for the test of their lives in all kinds of service.
  • Whether a person goes back into the workforce, or goes onto theological college, an apprentice has not wasted their time doing MTS. Not at all!

5. Apprenticeships confront people with their strengths and weaknesses

  • One of the best things an apprentice can learn is humility and their limitations.
  • Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist and Peter were all horrified when they came face-to-face with God and realised how ill-equipped they were!
  • On the flip-side, MTS helps identify strengths and gifts which can be nurtured through the apprenticeship.

6. Church-based apprenticeships prepare a person well for theological study

  • Theological study without a local church context is likely to result in a minister who struggles to connect their theological learning to the multifaceted nature of local church life as they study.
  • A good theologian is a person who can integrate life and doctrine in the context of building God’s church (1 Timothy 4:16).
  • An MTS apprenticeship who has already dealt with the stuff of life (old-age, new birth, struggling families, etc.) won’t study theology for academic qualifications,
    but for the extension of God’s church.

7. Church-based apprenticeships help a person with ministry skills—especially people skills

  • MTS helps develop a wide range of skills (preaching, leading, organising, administration, work with children, care for the elderly, cross-cultural work, etc.)
  • One key thing an apprentice will learn is people skills. They need to learn to be personal.
  • Potential apprentices will often say how much they love to teach the Bible – that’s good, but not good enough!
  • The church needs ministers who love all kinds of people, and who love teaching the Bible to them.

8. MTS equips people to start new ministries

  • Starting new ministries is an essential part of the work of a church minister – there needs to be Gospel risk-taking!
  • Dealing with fear of failure is an important part of MTS training.
  • You will see failure, feel disappointment, experience sadness, and have highs and lows.
  • These are the sorts of things needed for a lifetime of Word ministry.

Already studying at bible college?

Explore additional ministry training opportunities at Vine Church. Alongside MTS apprenticeships, we also offer positions as ministry associates and Student Ministers

Ministry Training Opportunities

MTS Apprenticeship

A two year, hands-on, full-time ministry apprenticeship, giving you the opportunity to grow as a minister to others in the context of a local church. 

Ministry Associate

A leadership development internship, providing you with hands on practical leadership opportunities with a staff-mentor and training.


For those studying at theological college wishing to be trained in leadership and church ministry in an urban environment.

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