The apprenticeship programme
iServe Africa’s key strategy and flagship programme is a leadership development year for fresh graduates that applies apprenticeship as a model of training for life and ministry with the goal of helping young Christian men and women to develop a deeper understanding of and commitment to the gospel, mission and ministry through placements in a local church, mission agency or other Christian organization.
The programme seeks to give young graduates opportunities of involvement in Christian ministry while supplementing the ministry of a local church and often contributing to their career development. Ideally, the placements are cross-cultural and the apprentices learn from experienced gospel workers in a win – win situation where both the apprentice and the local church mutually benefit.
After their year, some might go into longer term mission work, some might seek ordination into church ministry, some might go into theological studies and some might go into secular work places and bear witness to Christ there. Either way the experience is life-transforming, character-building and, God-willing, disciple-making.
- The need for ‘taster’ training – Many young people are not sure whether gospel ministry is the thing to do. They need some elementary training and exposure to Christian ministry. iServe Africa is ideal for ‘testing the waters’ before a further commitment or training in a Bible school.
- The challenge of Cross-cultural living. Most Young people grow up in mono-cultural contexts. The programme offers opportunities for young people to live and work cross culturally thus helping break down stereotypes and develop their social skills.
- Many young people in their gap year spend at least a year before landing a first job. Such young people have free time that unfortunately is not always spent productively. iServe Africa offers a structured way of spending a year out for Christians.
- Young people are “adventurous” – interested in having new experiences and are keen to be involved in a variety of activities. iServe Africa apprenticeships provides constructive adventure.
- Churches especially in the rural areas deprived of resources. The work is demanding but the churches cannot afford extra workers. An apprenticeship model is one solution not as cheap labour but a win–win situation where both the church and the apprentice mutually benefit from the scheme.
- There is insufficient ministry especially to the youth and children. We see sending apprentices to work with the young people as an intervention.
- Local Mission: There is a notion that the African Church is thriving. Many churches are full and this reinforces the impression that Africa is generally reached. As such, mission is not adequately emphasized. We will seek to encourage our apprentices into the harvest fields at home.
- World Mission: The African church is rising up to the challenge of world mission and slowly emerging as senders. We see this programme as a first step into further involvement in world mission. We will recommend our apprentices into further involvement in the wider world of missions and expose them to available opportunities.
- To raise a generation of servant leaders through ministry apprenticeships.
- To serve local churches and other organizations through apprenticeships.
- To facilitate training on faithful Bible preaching and servant leadership.
- To provide structure for meaningful apprenticeships.
- To promote volunteerism and partnerships as means of resourcing for gospel ministry.