We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be a Ministry Trainee here at Dundonald.
As a growing and an increasingly diverse, all-age church family with four congregations on a Sunday, we are a busy church. At Dundonald, you’ll find everyone from babies to the elderly, students to retirees, those caring for others, and those working in the city, and everyone else in between!
Our mission “We witness to grow disciples” summarises our conviction that the good news of Jesus changes hearts and lives as we hear and proclaim God’s Word. In 2021 we will be moving into a purpose-built facility which we pray will enable gospel ministry in new and exciting ways for generations to come.
If you love the Word of God and Christ’s church and are eager to serve humbly, grow in your knowledge of the Bible, model the Christian life, and gain ministry experience, we’d love you to apply to be a Dundonald Ministry Trainee, starting in 2021.
If that sounds like you, download the PDF info sheet or take a look at the FAQs below, then get in touch with Clayton Fopp, our Senior Assistant Pastor, so we can send you an application form and answer any questions you may have.
Ministry Trainee Scheme FAQs
Dundonald is a thriving, growing and increasingly diverse church with around 600 people of all ages gathering each Sunday. We are a busy church with four Sunday congregations and plenty of midweek ministries, such as training and discipleship groups for men, evangelistic courses and events, mums and toddler groups, children and youth programmes, midweek bible studies, and teas for the elderly.
We are part of Co-Mission, a network established in 2005 to plant and strengthen churches across London. Co-Mission now includes over 30 churches and church plants. You can find out more at Co-Mission.org. Co-Mission provides exceptional training for its Ministry Trainees and Dundonald Ministry Trainees take part in the monthly Co-Mission workshop with others from across London.
We invite applications from men and women who are committed to a Reformed Protestant understanding of Christianity and who are interested in exploring the possibilities of vocational gospel work. You’ll become a member of the terrific Dundonald Church staff team, and be allocated a member of the senior staff as your trainer. Our Senior Assistant Pastor, Clayton Fopp, oversees the Dundonald Ministry Trainee Scheme.
There are three main strands to the trainee scheme; Training, Ministry, and Service. See below for further information on each of these.
In 2021 we will be moving into our new purpose-built church facility, which will be the venue for most of our weekly ministries and which we pray will enable gospel ministry in new and exciting ways for generations to come. Ministry Trainees will be able to work, prepare, read, and meet people in the new building throughout the week.
Your trainer may be different to the staff member who leads the ministry area you’re most connected to. We find it’s valuable to have a range of input and care, both from those directly supervising trainees and others who can provide more wholistic leadership and care.
You will also receive on-the-job ministry training and teaching from your trainer and other Dundonald staff. Dundonald Church offers a variety of ministry and life-stage training across the life of the church, which is generally made available to all ministry trainees. This includes training in areas such as Bible handling, children’s & youth ministry, Sunday service platform ministry, church history, small group leading, music, tech, welcoming, and more!
Word ministry is central to all we do at Dundonald, so you will have lots of opportunities to teach the Bible, both evangelistically and to equip God’s people. In the same week you might teach children, share the good news of Jesus with seniors, doorknock some local streets, and disciple a group of your peers!
We will work with you to find areas of ministry that you’re particularly interested in or in which you’d like to grow and be stretched, so if you have gifts in areas like music, small group leading, Bible teaching, or schools ministry, we’ll help you find opportunities to develop your gifts there. But rest assured, we’ll also offer you some ministry experience you might never have considered!
As well as playing a key part in lots of great gospel work, you’ll get to see some aspects of different ministry that you probably wouldn’t get to experience any other way! You’ll also get to contribute to and enjoy large external events by being part of a team behind the scenes.
We gather as a staff team to read the Bible and share lunch together on Mondays. Trainees help with set-up, serving, and clean-up for these all-staff events. You’ll likely have a 1:1 with your trainer on a Monday afternoon when lots of the team are around. Trainees who lead small groups for our 6:30 will have training and dinner together some Monday evenings.
First year trainees will be at the Cornhill Training Course on Tuesdays, and second year trainees attend on Wednesdays. Often you’ll prepare for service leading or some other Sunday involvement early in the week, or you might catch up with a non-Christian friend to read the Bible 1:1.
Wednesday afternoon is our tactical meeting for all staff, and an opportunity for trainees to hear about, contribute to discussions about, and pray for, ministry across the life of the church.
If you’re preparing a talk for the weekend, your trainer may check in with you mid-week to hear how you’re going and offer suggestions and advice.
Lots of small groups, including our 6:30 congregation Knowing God groups meet Wednesday evening, and trainees will often be leading one of these. Once a month, our Central Prayer Meeting takes the place of our regular small groups and we all gather to pray. Trainees help run this prayer meeting each month.
On Thursdays trainees involved in children’s ministry will join the kids’ team meeting, except when there’s Co-Mission Workshop, and in the afternoon all trainees take part in Dundonald’s Sermon Class with Senior Pastor Richard Coekin. In this you’ll work through a Bible passage that will be taught the coming Sunday, or reflecting on an aspect of teaching ministry; how to prepare a preaching program, writing an evangelistic talk, discussing the challenges of application, preparing a carols event, etc.
We often run evangelistic courses on a Thursday evening, which you may be involved in, either helping, or with a friend you’ve invited along Other training and events sometimes happen on Thursdays such as Good News for Real Life, which deals with issues like anxiety or purity, Marriage Matters, and parenting courses.
Other Thursday evenings feature events such as our Envision Evenings, events for all our leaders (including trainees) to think about significant issues for our church.
Trainees who serve in Friday evening children’s and youth programmes will often spent some of the day on Friday preparing for these, writing talks, or finalising teaching material for these groups.
Saturdays are a well-earned day of rest, before Sundays, when it’s all hands on deck!
Ministry Trainees generally serve at two gatherings on a Sunday, and attend another without formal ministry commitments. This varies depending on ministry involvement, especially for those involved in music or children’s ministry.
We have lots of children! Our kids work is one of the largest in the UK, so there are lots of opportunities to teach the Bible to kids and youth and to gain experience in leadership, training teams, and running programs to make disciples of Jesus.
We’re part of Co-Mission, a network that seeks to plant and strengthen churches across London, and we have family, friends and alumni around the globe. You can partner with, and be stretched by, God’s work across London and the world!
Our new building, opening in September 2021, creates lots of exciting opportunities for our existing ministries, and others we haven’t even thought of yet! Maybe you have ideas!
We think it’s important for all ministry staff to be committed to a ministry that’s beyond our own patch here in Raynes Park, so you’ll find that staff and trainees are involved in a range of ministries from cross-cultural, to theological education, lunch-time ministries, denominational leadership, church planting, and more!
You might think that’s a likely step, perhaps you've spent a year doing Relay with UCCF, or you might not be sure what direction you're heading in at all. Maybe you’re being encouraged to think about this by other Christians whose advice and perspective you trust.
If you’re open to exploring the possibility of vocational ministry, come and do that over two years at Dundonald!
If you’re committed to a Reformed evangelical understanding of Christian faith and life, you’re welcome to join us!
So we usually encourage people to work for a few years before joining us as a trainee, but everyone’s situation is different. Dundonald Senior Assistant Pastor Clayton Fopp has been known to say that he never had a “real job” before becoming a ministry trainee – though be sure to ask him about working in a university anatomy lab …
And there is no upper age limit on becoming a trainee. If you’re thinking you could better serve the cause of Christ by leaving what you currently do, and labouring full-time or part-time for the gospel, get in touch!
We rejoice in the complementarian nature of humanity and the beauty and wisdom of God’s creation of men and women as equal, but different. Therefore we want to take seriously the Bible’s teaching about the role of godly men, equipped by the Spirit of Christ to lead and teach in church gatherings, and the responsibility for all believers, men and women, to teach and serve God’s people.
We have many women on our staff team, including in our executive, though we recognise that there are fewer full-time vocational ministry roles for women in churches across the UK.
If you're interested in becoming a trainee, please get in touch with us, even if you don't think you're likely to be ready to start with the next cohort. It's always good to have lots of time for praying and conversations!
To theological study, to continue preparing for a lifetime of gospel ministry, in church or cross-cultural mission.
Back to the secular workforce or family roles, contending for the faith among colleagues, family, and neighbours, having been really helpfully equipped to share and defend their faith during their time as a trainee. These trainees find themselves much-loved and respected in their local church because of the formation and experience they’ve had.
Into a ministry role for a few more years, with a view to theological study a little further down the track.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to think about your options, take godly counsel, and make plans for whatever God has in store for you next!
If you’d like to speak to a current trainee or member of staff about their experience, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch with someone who would love to share what they do and how they’ve found gospel ministry at Dundonald. If you would like to apply or if you have questions about the Training Scheme, then do get in touch with Clayton Fopp, our Senior Assistant Pastor, by email email@example.com so we can send you an application form and answer any questions you may have.