Motorways, ministry and missions

Date posted: 27/07/18

 Motorways, ministry and missions


Welcome to the final episode of the Internship blog as cricketer Rob Stileman reflects on an action-packed year and shares his hopes for 2018-19.

It feels a lifetime ago that I arrived in Brackley for the start of the Internship, and spent the morning hastily assembling two Ikea flat pack beds that would last me and Jack Shepherd (a fellow Intern) the year. That it was only 11 months ago speaks volumes.

This has been a year like no other. A year where I have learnt more, done more and driven up the M1 more than I could possibly have imagined!

Foundational to the Internship has been the training I have received. Through the ministry training course I attended in Oxford and the weekly Friday morning sessions and four block training weeks with Christians in Sport placed throughout the year, I have seen my knowledge and handling of the Bible increase, learnt how to write and deliver talks effectively, as well as develop a plethora of workplace skills.

All this training has been especially useful for my primary role as an Intern - overseeing the Christians in Sport groups at universities in the Midlands and the North of England. From Oxford to Leeds, I have found myself shuttling up and down the M1 and M40, visiting university groups, reading the Bible with students one-to-one and speaking at guest events.


For me, these guest events are what it’s all about - giving sports playing students the chance to hear and respond to the amazing message of the gospel. And it has been particularly encouraging to see so many students grasp hold of these opportunities to share their faith with their sports mates. Whether it be getting their whole team along to a quiz or having a Dialogue Dinner where they directly explain the gospel to mates over a meal - the good news of Christ has been heard by thousands of students this year.

Away from the week-in-week-out business of university visits and guest events, the year has been punctuated by various trips away, including mission weeks at Bath and Edinburgh universities, a sports camp in Moldova, and Sports Plus this summer.

The standout for many of the Interns was our time in Moldova back in January. A far cry from the comforts of the British Isles, the trip was both humbling and brilliantly encouraging as we saw the Lord powerfully at work, with many of the Moldovan young people making a commitment to follow Christ at the end of the camp.

Yet, for me personally, the week up in Edinburgh (pictured) was the highlight of the year. It was so exciting to see momentum build during the week as hundreds of students engaged first-hand with the claims of Jesus. The stories of people choosing to follow Jesus off the back of that week were a joy to hear and another glorious example of the Lord at work.

Of course, not everything this year has been easy. On a personal note, my biggest struggle has been my cricket. I’ve had a bitterly disappointing season and have struggled to settle into my new club.

Elsewhere, there have also been times of spiritual disappointment. Whether it be the last minute cancellation of a guest event, or a friend who is completely closed to the gospel - such moments have left me dejected and frustrated in equal measure. They have been a stark reminder that gospel work, though exciting and a privilege, is also often difficult.

Motorways, ministry and missionsThese lessons will stand me in good stead as I embark on a second year of the Internship from September.

One key difference, though, will be in location as I move from Brackley - where I have been a part of Life Church Brackley - to home in London.

It has been fantastic being part of the church family at Life Church, and I have enjoyed spending a day and a half a week working for the church. Whether it be helping lead youth groups, hosting or speaking at services, or doing odd jobs in the church office - Life Church Brackley has been a key part of my Internship this year.

Given this, I am similarly excited for my role at Inspire St James’ Clerkenwell. Whilst working with Christians in Sport groups at universities in London and the South East will be my primary focus, the opportunity to serve at Inspire is one I am relishing.

All in all, I am so grateful to the Lord for all He has done in and through me on the Internship. I thank Him for sustaining me through a year that has been both physically and mentally challenging. And above all, I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Lord in His work of reaching the world of sport for Christ.

I cannot wait to see how He uses me and the other interns at Christians in Sport next year. Bring on round two...


Rob Stileman

Rob Stileman, Brackley Town Football Club
Rob plays cricket for Banbury CC and is an Intern with Christians in Sport. He is a member of Life Church, Brackley



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