The Intern as an Assistant Pastor

It is by actually assisting—by doing—that one develops.

By Warren S. Lawrence, Intern, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The assistant pastor is usually a young ministerial intern. To him the Scriptural injunction is given, "Let no man despise thy youth." This is applicable both to his actual age and to his experi­ence in the Lord's work. In other words, it may well include, "Let no man despise thy lack of ex­perience."

It is by actually assisting—by doing—that one develops. The assisting pastor works not as a ser­vant, obeying commands, but as an assistant who is counseled by his senior, with whom he discusses reasons, purposes, methods, and aims. There is freedom in talking over ways and means of .carry­ing out objectives. He is often the recipient of constructive criticism. As the young minister goes from home to home with the pastor, he has opportunity to learn by experience, that best of teachers, without paying the full price which that harsh teacher would normally exact.

The ministerial intern, as he begins his work in a conference, is not entirely a novice, though lack­ing in practical experience and advanced training. For a period of four years he hi's studied under guidance, and observed and discussed the problems and work of the minister. Further, he has doubt­less participated in a student effort in which he and an associate were permitted to develop their own ideas in planning, in advertising, and in pre­paring sermon outlines, under the supervision of the theological department of the college from which he was graduated. Of course, this is not sufficient expefience in evangelism, but it is enough to give the young man a little insight into his fu­ture work.

As he now works with the pastor he is eager to learn the practical points about which he has had questions in his 'mind: hints on how to win not only the women but also the men of the house where studies are given ; how to meet various ar­guments against our message, arguments which are never discussed in textbooks; how to avoid friction and factions in the church, and how to deal with them; how board meetings are conducted, etc. These and scores of other features are points which the assisting pastor is eager to compass.

The college course has pointed out the need for further learning. One of the great needs of a theological . graduate entering the ministry is knowledge of, and practice in, pastoral work, as well as in evangelism. The college student has already had help from evangelists and his courses in evangelism, but too often he has not had train­ing in pastoral work. Yet we are told in the Tes­timonies: "As the physician deals with physical disease, so does the pastor minister to the sin-sick soul."—Volume IV, p. 267. With such responsi­bility as this, practical experience With factual training becomes a necessity. It is as an appren­tice that the assistant pastor gains such a prepara­tion—a privilege indeed.

The intern, as he assists the pastor, is not to be—Please turn, to page 46

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By Warren S. Lawrence, Intern, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

October 1945

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