One of our passions and a part of our vision at GracePoint is to multiply full time Gospel workers (pastors and missionaries, to name a few) who will be sent to the nations and serve the subsequent generations. We encourage and promote this through our regular preaching of the Word, through one on one conversations, in small groups, but also intentionally through our initative called 'Gospel Lab'.
Gospel Lab is short for Gospel Labourers, and it has 3 specifics strategies and corresponding aims. The first is 'Gospel Lab Associates', the second is 'Gospel Lab Apprenticeship', and the third 'Gospel Lab Alum'.
1. Gospel Lab Associates
Firstly, the Gospel Lab Associates gathering seeks to bring together men and women who are interested, open, and perhaps even already passionate about full time Gospel ministry between 4-6 times to chat, pray, and learn from leaders who have gone before them. Samples of these gatherings over the past few years:
1. Rev Eugene Hor (Lead Pastor of GracePoint) on 'What I've Learned About Ministry over the Past 20 Years'
2. The Rt Rev Bishop Peter Lin (Anglican Bishop of South Sydney) on 'Ministry in Hard Places - The Why and How'
3. Pastor Adam Ch'ng (Senior Pastor of Cross and Crown, Melbourne) on 'Try and Fail, Christ is King - Why Risking Everything for the Gospel is No Risk At All'
4. Stephanie Ong (Ministry Intern at St Mary's Anglican Cathedral Church, Kuala Lumper - Malaysia) on 'Ministry in Malaysia - What God is Doing in Malaysia, Ministry to Women, and Why Internships/Apprenticeships Are Worth It'
5. Phil and Irene Nicholson (Langham Asia) on 'Going the Distance in Gospel Ministry'
6. Rev Kamal Weerakoon (Mission Director at GracePoint) on 'Local and Global Mission: Today and Tomorrow'
7. Professor Murray Smith (Lecturer in Biblical Theology and Exegesis at Christ College) on 'Confessional Theology and Gospel Ministry: Is There Any Relevance?'
8. John Le (2020-2021 Apprentice) on "Why Apprenticeship"
9. Bishop Gary Koo (Anglican Bishop of West Sydney) on "Lessons I've Learned as a Senior Pastor"
10. Pastor Sijin Yang (Pastor at Harbour City Church and Senior Chaplain of SOW Australia) on "No Time To Lose!"
11. Rev Ying Yee (Minister of CCC Milsons Point) on "Understanding our Cultural Heritage as an Advantage for Gospel Advancement"
The idea behind these Gospel Lab Associates gatherings is to continue encouraging men and women who are considering Gospel ministry, and putting before them plausibility structures which can be a helpful reference point for their respective futures. Attendance to these gatherings are by invitation, and you can speak to Rev Elliot Ku to be added to a list which receives updates and invitations to these gatherings throughout the course of the year.
2. Gospel Lab Apprenticeship
Secondly, Gospel Lab Apprenticeship aims to identify, prepare, train, and unleash men and women into full time Gospel roles, and we do this through i) Ministry Apprenticeships through the organisation 'MTS' and ii) Internships while they study at theological college - especially for those studying at Christ College. Our hope is to train and send scores of people across our denomination, city, nation, and world who will carry on the good work of preaching the Gospel.
Ministry Apprentices (through the Ministry Training Strategy) will be assigned a particular trainer throughout their 2 year program, but they will also benefit and receive input from the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of the entire pastoral staff at GracePoint. Their training involves 1-2 days of theological study (through Cornhill Sydney and Timothy Partnership), which results in an Academic Studies in Theology Certificate (ASTC) accredited by the Australian College of Theology (ACT), and 3-4 days of hands-on ministry training at church (predominantly), schools, university campuses, and the like.
Those who are interested are encouraged to speak to their Community Group leaders about their desire to pursue this or contact their campus pastors. It is our aim to have 1-2 new apprentices added to the team each year. If you would like to apply, please download, complete, and fill this form and return it to Pastor Elliot. The closing dates for application for the 2022-2023 cohort is June 30, 2021.
Our current apprentices includeThomas Lam (2021-2022), Jason Yu (2021-2022), and Clement Hui (2022-2023). Our previous apprentices include David Yu (2002-2003), Simon Wong (2004-2005), Vivian To (2004-2005), Sharon aw (2006-2007), Fiona So (2006-2007), Thomas Lai (2008-2009), Daniel Shih (2010-2011), Shirley Lam (2014-2015), and John Le (2020-2021).
Ministry Apprentices will be required to raise funds for their 2 year training (approximately $55,000 over 2 years). However, as an expression of our commitment to raising the next generation of Gospel workers, GracePoint in partnership with METRO with subsidise a portion of that funding. If you are passionate about raising Gospel workers and you'd love to contribute to this fund, please click here to find out about our 'Nations and Generations Ministry Apprentice Fund'.
At the completion of the Apprenticeship, Christ College also offers the Internship Program which is a 3 year training pathway to form pastoral leaders. This program runs alongside their academic training (be it a Bachelor of Theology or Master of Divinity), and the aim is to supplement their classroom time with rich and robust 'on the ground' training. GracePoint is an approved partner church with 2 trainers available, and applicants can follow the information through the Christ College website or speak to their campus pastors.
3. Gospel Lab Alum
Our earnest desire and prayer is to see and sent scores of men and women who have gone through our Association gatherings and Apprenticeship programs across our city and our world. We seek to maintain partnership and collaboration with them through the Gospel Lab Alum network, and our hope is that our alumni can return and contribute to the Gospel Lab life cycle by speaking at Association gatherings and taking up Apprentices in their respective areas of ministry.
Paul in 2 Timothy 1:13-14 tells Timothy to 'What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.', and we believe that the way to keep to the pattern of sound teaching and guarding the good deposit of the Gospel is not by holding on to what we have and burying it within the four walls of our churches. Instead, it is to let go of it freely so that the world may know that Christ is King and that salvation is found in Him!