Just an Associate Pastor

One man's experience of the first few years after seminary--mortification and edification.

My name doesn't appear on the church stationery, nor does it appear in the newspaper or telephone book advertisements. I'm not in the limelight. No one refers to the church I serve as "Brother Epps' Church," and few in the congregation look to me for spiritual guidance. I'm the "silent partner," the "second in command." I am simply an associate pastor to a more mature minister who pastors a growing and thriving local assembly. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Six years ago, armed with a college degree, I assumed the pastorate of a church consisting of 110 members, although there were only fourteen who attended regularly. Full of idealism and zeal, I mounted the pulpit with the certain knowledge that I was going to instruct these poor, neglected folk in the deeper mysteries of God. When I ran out of sermon material inside of six weeks, I began to sense that all was not going well.

I demonstrated my profound wisdom time and time again, as I attempted to minister to the needs of the people. ...

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