Why a Pastoral Residency?

Looking across the span of many decades in the life of Hespeler Baptist Church reveals that the church has long had a willingness to invest in younger men heading towards pastoral ministry. This legacy continues to the present day, as our present Lead Pastor, Sean Sheeran, and one of our associate Pastors, Caleb Hall can attest to. Both of these men began their vocational ministry as pastoral interns at HBC. 

As such, along with the entire congregation, our desire is to see this legacy continue for as long as the Lord would allow, in obedience to Paul’s instructions in 2 Timothy 2:2: what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Paul had a multi-generation view of pastoral discipleship, which involved himself, Timothy, those Timothy would teach, and those who would teach others what Timothy taught them. We want to have the same long view until Christ comes.

Along with this DNA of Hespeler, we take seriously where God in His providence has placed us: in the backyard of Heritage College and Seminary. Our church building is literally a few minutes drive from the campus, meaning our pastors are often on campus, and faculty, staff, and students are often connected to our church. We love our relationship with Heritage, consider our geographical proximity a blessing, and because of this, want to ensure that our church provides as much opportunity for men and women to use their gifts and education in real-life ministry while studying and heading towards vocational ministry.

What is the Residency at HBC?

One of the specific ways we seek to do this is through pastoral residencies. This position is designed and intended for men heading towards pastoral ministry, who have either completed or are working towards the completion of a seminary degree, and are confident of God’s call to serve our Lord and His church in this way. Over the course of this two year commitment, pastoral residents will experience the different seasons of life and ministry in a local church context. What does this look like?

  • reading and reflecting upon assigned books, such as The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges, 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever, Shepherds After My Own Heart by Tim Laniak, The Priority of Preaching by Christopher Ash, The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love by Jonathan Lehman, A Labour of Love by Stephen Yuille, and many others.

  • participating in Sunday services (praying, reading Scripture, preaching, baptizing, leading at the Lord’s Supper)

  • participating in weekly pastoral staff meetings where godly encouragement and sharpening is given and received

  • one-on-one time with pastoral staff
  • attending elders’ meetings twice a month

  • learning a local church’s people and culture

  • teaching in various settings (adult classes, children and youth, small groups etc)

  • where appropriate, accompanying pastors/elders for visitations, pastoral counselling, wedding and funeral planning with families

  • exposure to elder-led congregationalism in the context of meaningful membership, what it looks like to prepare and present budgets, receive Christians into church membership, make decisions as a church, etc.
The goal is to provide an experience of ministry exposure and equipping where, from a guided pastoral experience, men can be deployed in their search for full-time pastoral positions. We hope and pray that our contribution to the great commission through our pastoral residencies would reflect these comments from a former pastor of our church:

“A place to grow, godly modelling of ministry, instruction and mentoring in it, a willingness to try new things, personal support: all of these are ways that young men can be shaped to become effective leaders. These are things that Hespeler Baptist Church did for me. May the next generation of leaders find Hespeler Baptist Church to be the supportive congregation that it was for me so that new generations will rise up to call you blessed.” - Byron Wheaton (Assistant/intern pastor from 1978-1981; Lead Pastor from 1981-1989).

How to apply?

If you are interested in participating in a pastoral residency, we accept applications from September to May each year. Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada at time of application. Please send your resume, application completed and a cover letter explaining why you are pursuing a pastoral residency at our church to residency@hespelerbaptist.ca.