A day in the life of a . . . pastoral intern

A sneak peek into the first few years of pastoral ministry—internship.

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Rose Andrykanus.

Name: Rose Andrykanus
Job: Intern/Associate Pastor
Where: Melbourne, Vic

What’s your job?

I’m the new Intern at Lilydale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Melbourne. Internship is a two year program for ministry and theology graduates working in a local church or school. We have core competencies and skills that we need to focus on and build up in the first two years of ministry, such as visitations, preaching and Bible studies. After your two years of internship, you move to a licensed minister position for a few years, and then after that comes commissioning/ordination.

What’s a typical day for you?

Every day is different but there will always be some kind of meeting—whether that be a visitation with a church member, a Bible study, a board or elders’ meeting, or a catch-up with my mentor. Plus lots of phone calls and emails, and if it’s a week where I’m preaching, then there will be a lot of sermon prep—reading and researching—in my day. Pastoral work isn’t a 9 to 5 job!

Biggest lesson you’ve learned?

Probably that ministry is about people, and people come in all different temperaments, from all different backgrounds! One of the most valuable things you can do in ministry is just be able to sit and listen to someone and hear their story. Often what you see on the surface isn’t a true reflection of what is happening underneath.

Best part about your job?

Meeting people. I love seeing the passion that others have for Jesus, especially when it’s young people. I just see so much potential in our young people to go out and share the gospel! I feel like I don’t even have to do the work—they can do it, we just need to empower them. What makes me truly happy is seeing older people supporting and empowering young people who are passionate about sharing God’s Word. That’s something really beautiful, and I’m so grateful to be able to be a part of that.

"One of the most valuable things you can do in ministry is just be able to sit and listen to someone and hear their story."

What’s one challenge you’ve faced?

Because I’m such a structured person, one of the biggest challenges for me was getting used to the irregularity of a pastor’s life! It really threw me off at the start—you have to work around people and be very flexible. This can also be a challenge in finding time for yourself. Sometimes you get messages from church members at all hours of the night and early morning, and so you really need to work on learning to prioritise—is this something that needs to be dealt with straight away, or can it wait?

Any advice for future pastoral interns?

Be humble. Don’t come out of college thinking you know everything because you’ll realise pretty quickly that you don’t! Ask lots of questions, remember that your mentors are there to help you and, most importantly, that everyone in your ministry circle is on your side. From your senior pastor all the way up to the president of the Union, everyone is there to support you. If you come into ministry with that mindset and attitude, you’ll do all right.

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