Second Year Placement
By Josh Porter
My name is Josh Porter, I am a member of Knockconny Baptist Church and I’m currently in my second year of studies at the Irish Baptist College. During second year, placement is organised by the College to help students gain some first-hand experience of working and serving in a number of different contexts, whether that be in a local church or within a Christian organisation.
I am placed in Richill Park Baptist Church and I serve alongside Pastor Olly Roebuck in a Student Assistant role, in what is their 125th anniversary year as a church. This has involved attending Sunday services, occasionally helping with Sunday School and being there on a Wednesday night for the Bible study and prayer meeting. I have had several opportunities to speak during Sunday services and during the prayer meeting and Bible study. I am also able to accompany the pastor during some pastoral visitations, which has been great in getting to know those from the church. There have also been opportunities, particularly on a Wednesday, to sit down with Olly and talk about church ministry. These conversations have been very helpful and allowed for any questions I have had to enable me to learn as much as possible from someone who has pastoral experience.
During my time so far on placement I have learned so much and gained invaluable experience of ministry in a different context to what I am used to in my home church. There have also been challenges while on placement; the biggest one being able to balance the demands of College, placement and other commitments. I am thankful to the College, Pastor Olly, and the church for the facilitation of this placement.
By Glenn Gilmore
Hello, my name is Glenn Gilmore. I’m 32 and married to Naomi. We have a daughter called Elsie who is 3 years old and another baby on the way. We are members of Emmanuel Baptist Church and I am currently in my second year of the Irish Baptist College.
To gain real ministry experience I have been on placement in Ballykeel Baptist Church to serve alongside Pastor Andrew Campbell. As a family we have loved our time in Ballykeel so far and have really felt welcomed into the church family.
The experience has been extremely helpful as I can feel myself growing and developing in what God has called me to do. So far I have been preaching two Sundays and one midweek a month. It has also been helpful to gain experience leading, doing announcements, readings and praying. Announcements are harder than they look!
One of the most helpful things has been the fellowship with the elders and congregation; people have been very generous and encouraging. I have loved the chats and lunches with Andrew and his wife Deborah, we have good conversations and they give me advice to learn from. The lunches are always good too!
The most challenging thing has been juggling between family, College, work and placement. I also work as a community care worker which has made most weeks very busy, so prayers would be greatly appreciated. Through the challenge of balancing work, family life and the many times I have felt out of my depth, my greatest lesson has been how God is so good and faithful throughout.
I plan on doing more visitations and a few more kids and youth talks before I finish in April, but time is going in quickly. I will look back with great fondness to my time in Ballykeel Baptist and I am so thankful to all that have come alongside us as a family.