Life as a ministry apprentice in South Africa


Meet Kwazi Buthelezi, aged 23, originally from Nqutu, a village far (400 k/h) from Durban. Kwazi is a 1st year Apprentice with The Bible Talks university ministry in Durban, South Africa.

Kwazi, Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

Growing up in a church going family and being raised moralistically upright made me think I was right with God.  But when I converted I was struck by how I always missed the mark. From that realization I grew a strong passion for ministry – I even attempted to quit school and just go preaching on the streets. I thought of other people who might have thought they were Christians as well, just because they read the Bible occasionally and sat in a pew once a week, or said a prayer now and then. I wanted them to have what I felt so real and authentic, a relationship with God. Knowing Him as Father.

It was then that I met Ryan on campus and started reading the Bible with him. From that my desires and passions for ministry grew even deeper, now that I was being discipled and taught clearly from God’s word. When he told me about the apprenticeship program, I knew without a doubt that it’s what I was going to do after my studies.

Above all else, I saw an amazing opportunity for me to grow in my relationship with God. I’d say that was a real catch.

What does an average week of ministry look like for you?

My ministry is split into two portions: TBT university student ministry and my local church (Trinity Church Morningside).

In an average week on Campus I do 1 ½ hours of walk up evangelism, host our main gathering, lead 121’s, a Bible Study, weekly prayer meetings and do Bible Ministry Training. Then there’s our staff meeting, a mentorship 121 with Ryan and two hours of Training In Ministry (TIM) once a week – where we either discuss a set theological book, or look at a particular book of the bible together and work out the main point and implications of specific passages.

At church I help to set up each week as we rent a building space, I teach in the Sunday School, and at times will lead the service or play in the band. I also have a Community Bible Study group and do a couple of hours of rostering and admin work each week.

That’s pretty much average. Working 6 days a week.

What’s one thing you love about ministry in Durban?

From what we often read about in the news about the persecuted church all around the world, I can’t help but be grateful for the freedom we have in South Africa when it comes to expressing our faith. Just to be able to walk around campus and chat to people of different ethnicities about Christ without fearing for your life. We have relatively easy access to campus and are mostly able to run our programs as often as we’d like.

What are some of the challenges?

So many challenges. I wouldn’t know where to start. But to name the few:

There is a sense that South Africans are ‘religious’. So, their hearts are hardened and strangely repellent to Christianity. Although maybe it’s not so strange as there are so many false teachers on campus distorting the sound teaching. People are confused, not knowing what to believe anymore.

We also have to deal with the disruption of strikes. Almost every year for the past five years, there have been strikes either at the beginning or end of the year.

If it’s not strikes, it is just inconsistency due to timetable clashes and staff. Sometimes it makes it hard to keep a record of certain individuals and follow up on them.

How have you grown through this apprenticeship?

I thought the Bible was boring and irrelevant. But now being equipped to correctly handle the Word of God, I’m so very grateful for the ability to just open the Word of God and study it with understanding. So I’d say my Bible handling skills have been sharpened.

With these skills has also come a deeper knowledge and understanding which humbles me. So not only have I had my skills sharpened, but also my knowledge enriched and consequently I now seek above all things to grow my character in godliness and righteousness. The way I interact with people now is largely shaped by who I am in Christ and who they are in Christ as well.

How can we pray for you and your ministry?

2016 was a long year and the busiest of my life. If you could be praying that I will come back refreshed from the holidays and that I will dare not step back in my walk as a Christian but continue seeking more of Him.

Please also be praying that God will open doors for me to study further after my apprenticeship. And that I will continue to grow in loving him and his people and will continue to serve him with all I have.

If you’d like to partner with the ministry of Kwazi and TBT then you can join their newsletter list or receive giving details by emailing TBTukzn@gmail

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