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An interview with St John’s new Apprentice

Si Walker, 6th May 2019

Photograph of Ben Naylor

In this month's blog post you can read about an interview that took place between our Associate Vicar, (Si Walker), and our new Ministry Apprentice, (Ben Naylor).


Name?

Ben Naylor.

What are you doing at the moment?

In my final year studying civil engineering at Oxford University.

Why do you want to do something mad like a church ministry apprenticeship?

Firstly, I think it’s a great way to serve the church by doing practical jobs and helping with youth groups etc. Particularly, its also a great opportunity to grow by spending time serving and in getting great bible training. I think it is also a great opportunity to see what ministry is like, to consider how I will best serve the church with the gifts God has given me in the future.

How did you get converted?

I’ve been fortunate to have grown up in a Christian family, coming along to church. So for most of my childhood I was taught about faith but didn’t really understand the need to personally believe and follow Christ. The most influential thing in me coming to be a Christian was Cumbria Christian Youth Camp, CCYC. It was there that I would say that I really began to understand the call of Christ to trust in his death to pay for my sins, and to follow him. So that’s when I began to take faith seriously and is probably when I would say that I was converted.

What is your best youth group memory as a teenager?

Probably the weekends away (retreats) we used to go on. I remember them being weekends of having fun together, spending a load of time learning from the Bible, and doing crazy activities. It was great to just forget school, exams and everything else, and instead just have a great time together and being encouraged to live for Christ.

What is your worst youth group memory?

I don’t really think I have many bad memories. Probably not because there wasn’t any bad times, but just when you look back you don’t remember them.

South of England or North of England?

North.

Climbing or mountain biking?

Mountain Biking.

If you could have 2 minutes to tell a young person about your faith in Jesus, what would you say?

Faith in Jesus is so much more than just believing that stuff about Jesus is true. What Jesus called in the Bible was disciples, people who not only believed what Jesus said but who also followed him. My faith is not just about theology, but it’s about following Christ. That means choosing to live for him not for myself, and that’s really hard. But it’s also the best way to live, because its the way we are designed to live. It means fighting to suppress the desires I have that will damage my relationships with God and others, and instead fighting to do what is good and right. It’s not a fight I am able to win myself, but the Holy Spirit has the power to change me so that my desires become good and right and so the conflict within me becomes less and less. Ultimately, it’ll only be in the new creation when I will fully experience the way life is designed to be for eternity, completely right relationship with God and with others. But between now and then, following Christ gives a taste of what life should be like.

What are you most apprehensive about for you apprenticeship, (if apprehensive is the right word!)?

Yeah, I don’t think I quite understand what I’m letting myself in for!

What are you most excited about?

I’m very excited to get stuck in helping with the youth in church, I loved being a member of the youth groups when I was younger! Also to grow through serving, and I’m really looking forward to the Bible training course. I’m excited to see what the year has in store!

Let's finish by asking you a couple of things we can pray for you...

To finish uni well. I have final exams in a couple of weeks so pray I would work well for them with right motives. Also, for a summer spent resting well, and preparing for the ministry apprenticeship.