#NewRevs 2023 Nathanael Worsley

15th June 2023

Nathanael Worsley worked as an outdoor instructor for a Christian organisation at a residential centre in Scotland. The centre catered for primary school children, as well as some youth and church groups. As part of his job Nathanael led groups in outdoor pursuits, mountain biking, canoeing, rock climbing and hill walking. His role was to introduce people to outdoor activities, but these activities in the wilds of Scotland often proved to be a great way to get people talking about faith. ‘Outdoor education is an excellent way of introducing people to asking questions around faith, so as an optional extra we would often provide some form of faith-based input, either to schools as part of their religious studies, or if it was a church or youth group, we would offer to provide some Christian input that would help them to think about their faith.’

Nathanael admits that he had felt God’s call to ministry when he was younger, but had ignored it, believing ordination was not for him. He says he had convinced himself that God wanted him to encourage people on their journey of faith, as he had been doing at the outdoor centre. But over time it was this very work that got Nathanael thinking differently about ministry. ‘The big wake up call for me to take ministry seriously was the realisation that the thing I found most fulfilling was discipling the team of staff at the centre and I found that really very enriching.’

Like many people who answer God’s call, it was the help and support of others that made Nathanael truly see where God wanted him to be. ‘Unsurprisingly my wife was much more perceptive than I was when it came to issues around the call and so she was the one that kind of pushed me over the line and encouraged me to think about ordination seriously."

Working in Scotland has left a big imprint on Nathanael and it has shaped the way he thinks about his ministry. “I am excited to join in with people’s day-to-day lives and talk about faith in the everyday. One of the things I realised from being an outdoors instructor is that it is straightforward teaching groups about faith and God when they come to an entirely new place, but the real test for continuing faith is how that plays out in people’s day-to-day lives. When they go back home, go to school or have to do the laundry, what does faith look like then?"

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