I've heard it several different ways.......How do you feel about this? Is he there all the time? Is the new guy going to pick up where the old guy left off? He's coming too? He was there for that? And the list could go on and on. Here's how I feel about it......
It is the apprentice-pastor program that is part of the NEHBC long-term vision for church planting. It is an investment in future pastors, some of whom will become part of NEHBC church plants. As the Senior Pastor's wife, it involves me. Nathan and I discussed this program long before it came to fruition. We had thought and prayed about it and knew that this was something we wanted and should invest our lives in. Being a part of mentoring young pastors is a privilege and something we take very seriously.
So how does this work?
A future pastor commits to spending 12 months with Nathan learning and soaking up everything he can about the ins, outs, dos, don'ts, hows, whens and whys of being a pastor. He keeps to Nathan's schedule daily and often spends more time in a day with Nathan than the kids and I do. I don't keep up with what all they do during the day, but it's usually the evenings and weekends that involve the kids and me. The apprentice hangs out at our house and with our family on a very regular basis. He eats dinner, he comes to birthday parties, he does high school football, he veg-es on the couch, he's part of this never-dull Six Linos family.
So why do you do this?
We do the apprentice program to help equip future pastors. We do it because of all of the times we have looked at each other and said 'they didn't teach us this in seminary." It's not that we have all of the answers or that there is not high value in the things you learn in the seminary setting. It's because there are countless experiences in the life of a pastor that can only be learned 'in the field'. We do it because we believe that the Lord is able and willing to use some of what He is doing in and through us to help shape His future shepherds as well as our family. We do it because we love the ministry the Lord has called us to and we are excited about His Kingdom.
But really, what do you think?
Yes, he's here most of the time.
Yes, the new guy has picked up where the old guy left off.
Yes, he's coming too - to almost everything.
Yes, he was there for that - and will continue to be.
A lot of teaching and learning takes place in our van or on our couch while the kids are screaming and I'm cooking, mediating or changing diapers.
I love it.
Our kids have a blast - and a good role model.
There are some times I don't want him around.
I can't think of any annoying times - just times I needed my space.
I can't wait to see the ministry that these guys have 15 years down the road.
It's a sacrifice I've chosen to make.
It's fulfilling to be a part of Nathan's call on his life.
Bottom line.....it's for His glory and it's not about me.