It is often the privilege of a minister to have associated with him in his work a ministerial intern just out of school. That first year out in the field is an important one for the intern. In it he should gain experience and get a vision that will do much to carry him along the way to becoming a successful soul winner. During this year the minister should by all means give the young man a "break."
Speaking from the viewpoint of one who is not too far removed from his internship days, and from observing the experience of others, may I make the following suggestions that may be helpful:
Make sure the intern knows conference policy with reference to the monthly reporting of his work and expense items. This instructing probably should be done by the president or treasurer of the conference, but these men are very busy and often do not have time or opportunity for these little details. A young man hesitates to ask about money matters, so make sure he understands what he needs to know.
Have a definite program of work and responsibility mapped out for him, so that he feels as if he is accomplishing something. Make sure he understands his responsibilities, and expect him to fulfill them. It is to be hoped that he will not need to be told more than once what his duties are.
Recognize the intern's capabilities and exploit them to the full. This will add to your program and will broaden his experience.
Give him every opportunity you can to speak and lead out in Sabbath services and prayer meetings. Again, it is to be hoped that he will grasp these golden opportunities for experience, and not plead to be excused.
Make sure he has the opportunity to do personal work in the homes of the people. Assist him in this work if he needs help. Experience is the only teacher. Our schools do the very best they can, but practical experience in this phase is very limited until one gets out into the field. He will no doubt appreciate suggestions as to subject matter and sequence for Bible studies. Be sure these visits are made. I visited a list of people once after the intern had moved on, and found that very few visits had been made. Impress upon him the importance of the personal contact.
If you are conducting evangelistic meetings, give him an opportunity to speak occasionally if at all possible. It encourages him and under most circumstances certainly would do your meetings good. If you have a radio program, use him for announcements and let him take a program once in a while.
In all his work seek to impress upon him the sacredness and responsibility of the high calling in which he is engaged. In other words, be careful that he does not get the impression from you that he is merely your "errand boy" or "janitor." He should, of course, be willing to perform the humble tasks, but cultivate his confidence, and he will see that even these humble responsibilities are steppingstones to greater ones. Do not treat him as an inferior. I gained my greatest inspiration from a man of many years of wide and very successful experience, who yet somehow made me feel his equal.
Do not take for granted that the intern knows all he needs to know in regard to his work and plans. Try to get his viewpoint. Put yourself in his place. Understanding begets confidence. Encourage him to cultivate habits of punctuality, industry, and study, and set a good example before him in this.
An older man sometimes fails to appreciate a young man's position when the two are associated together. Some of us have passed through difficult weeks and months because we did not know just what was expected of us. This impression is often given: "You are just out of school. There really isn't much you can do." A man just out of school has boundless energies and enthusiasm. He should, of course, recognize his limitations, but by all means capitalize on this energy. Turn it into help for you and experience for him. Yes, do "give the young man a break."