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Learning on the job

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Students reflect on working as a summer pastoral intern

“I’ve certainly come to see the role of pastor as one of a diplomat. It takes a lot of skill, patience, and knowledge of church culture to help a community work together. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see how supportive the church community is of its pastors; I was overwhelmed by the number of…words of encouragement or thanks.”

—Adrienne Redekopp, a recent University of Winnipeg graduate with a BA/BEd, who attends and interned at River East MB Church, Winnipeg.

“Now that I’ve seen how large that role can really be, I expect to keep more of an eye on how I can best prepare myself for the inevitable desk-work component of church ministry. The biggest challenge was negotiating the psychological barrier people erect between laypeople and pastors. [To just sit down with people and chat], that kind of contact brings a sort of human, relational warmth to a pastor’s day, and can be one of the most rewarding aspects.

—Theo Dyck, a Canadian Mennonite University student in the BMus program, who attends and interned at King Road MB Church, Abbotsford, B.C.

“My eyes have been opened wide to the wide variety of tasks a pastor is responsible for. It’s one thing to read about something like preaching or visitation in a textbook, and entirely another to experience it. I always viewed the pastor’s leading as something similar to a mere maintenance program. But after this summer, I know a pastor should demonstrate leadership with a purpose in action.”

—Stan Derksen, a Prairie Bible College student in the BMin program, from LaCrete, Alta., who interned at Linden (Alta.) MB Church.

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